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" It is often asked — Do you believe in Prophecies and Mi- 
racles? Yes and no, one may answer; that depends. In 
general, yes ; doubtless we believe in them, and are not of the 
number of those who ' pique themselves,' as Fenelon said, 
' on rejecting as fables, without examination, all the wonders 
that God works.' But if you come to the particular, and 
say — Do you believe in such a revelation, such an apparition, 
such a cure ? — here it is that it behoves us not to forget the 
rules of Christian prudence, nor the warnings of Holy Writ, 
nor the teaching of Theologians and Saints, nor, finally, the 
decrees of Councils, and the motives of those decrees. Has 
the proper Authority spoken ? If it has spoken, let us bow 
with all the respect due to grave and mature ecclesiastical 
judgments, even where they are not clothed with infallible 
authority ; if it has not spoken, let us not be of those who 
reject everything in a partizan spirit, and want to impose 
this unbelief upon everybody ; nor of those who admit every- 
thing lightly, and want alike to impose their belief ; let us be 
careful in discussing a particular fact, not to reject the very 
principle of the Supernatural, but neither let us shut our eyes 
to the evidence of testimony ; let us be prudent, even to the 
most careful scrutiny — the subject-matter requires it, the 
Scriptures recommend it — but let us not be sceptics ; let us 
be sincere, but not fanatical : that is the true mean. And 
let us not forget that most often the safest way in these 
matters is not to hurry one's judgment, not to decide sharply 
and affirm absolutely — in a word, not to anticipate, in one 
sense or the other, the judgment of those whose place and 
mission it is to examine herein ; but to await, in the sim- 
plicity of faith and of Christian wisdom, a decision which 
marks out a wise rule, although not always with absolute 
certainty." — Dupanloup, Bishop of Orleans, " On Contem- 
porary Prophecies." 


HESE volumes have been compiled 
from the standing-point of a hearty and 
reverent believer in Historical Chris- 
tianity. No one can be more fully 
aware of their imperfections and incompleteness 
than the Editor ; for the subjects under considera- 
tion occupy such a broad field, that their treatment 
at greater length would have largely increased the 
bulk of the volumes, and indefinitely postponed 
their publication. 

The facts and records set forth (and throughout, the 
Editor has dealt with facts, rather than with theories) 
have been gathered from time to time during the 
past twenty years, as well from ordinary historical 
narrations as from the personal information of 
several friends and acquaintances interested in the 
subject-matter of the book. The materials thus 
brought together from so many quarters have been 

viii PREFACE. 

carefully sifted, and those only made use of as 
would best assist in the arranged method of the 
volume, and suffice for its suitable illustration. 

The Editor regrets that, in the publication of so 
many recent examples of the Supernatural (about 
fifty), set forth for the first time in the following 
pages, the names of the persons to whom those 
examples occurred, and in some cases those like- 
wise who supplied him with them, are withheld. 

The truth is, there is such a sensitive dislike of 
publicity and of rude criticism consequent upon 
publicity, that very many persons shrink from the 
ordeal. However, it may be sufficient to state that 
the Editor holds himself personally responsible for 
all those here recorded, which are not either details 
of received History, or formally authenticated by 
the names and addresses of those who have sup- 
plied him with them. 

Many examples of the Supernatural in modern 
times and in the present day are here published for 
the first time, in an authoritative and complete 

By the kind courtesy of Lord Lyttelton, the 
family records of a remarkable apparition, which is 
said to have been seen by his noble ancestor, were 
placed at the Editor's disposal, and, by his Lord- 
ship's permission, are in the following pages now 
first set forth in detail and at length. 

The Editor is also indebted to the following, 
either for obliging replies to his inquiries, or for 

PRE FA CE. ix 

information which has been embodied in the suc- 
ceeding pages : — The late Lady Brougham, the late 
Rev. W. Hastings-Kelke, of Drayton Beauchamp ; 
A. L. M. P. de Lisle, Esq., of Garendon Park ; the 
Very Rev. A. Weld, S.J. ; the Right Rev. Mon- 
signor Patterson, D. D., of S. Edmund's College, 
Ware; the Rev. J. Jefferson, M.A., of North Stain- 
ley Vicarage, near Ripon ; the Very Rev. E. J. Pur- 
brick, S.J., of Stonyhurst College; the Rev. John 
Richardson, B.A., of Wanvick ; Henry Cope Caul- 
feild, Esq., M.A., of Clone House, S. Leonard's; 
the Rev. Theodore J. Morris ; Mrs. George Lee ; the 
Rev. H. N. Oxenham, M.A. ; Miss S. F. Caulfeild ; 
Dominick Browne, Esq. (Dytchley); Captain 
Lowrie, of York ; Mr. C. J. Sneath, of Birmingham ; 
and many others. 

If there be anything set forth in this volume, in 
ignorance or misconception, contradictory to the 
general teaching of the Universal Church, the 
Editor puts on record here his regret for having 
penned it, and his desire altogether to withdraw 
such error. 

F. G. L. 

All Saints' Vicarage, 

York Road, Lambeth. 

D. ALBEi^xT HILIEk. M. D. 

1011 BUttor St., 
TElEPiiqNE, 9'm. 9an F-r^ ooteco. 

Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2010 with funding from 

Indiana University 






Chapter I. 
NTRODUCTORY.— Materialism of the 
present age i 

Chapter II. 
The Miraculous in Church History. 21 

Chapter III. 
Spiritual Powers and Properties of the Church. — Sacra- 
ments. — Sacramentals. — Exorcism . . -51 

Chapter IV. 
Witchcraft and Necromancy . 

■ 149 

Chapter V. 
Dreams, Omens, Warnings, Presentiments, and Second 

Sight • . 207 


" In some sense of the Supernatural, in some faith in the 
Unseen, in some feehng that man is not of this World, in 
some grasp on the Eternal God, and on an eternal super- 
natural and supersensuous life, lies the basis of all pity and 
mercy, all help, and comfort, and patience, and sympathy 
among men. Set these aside, commit us only to the Natural, 
to what our eyes see and our hands handle, and, while we 
may organize Society scientifically, and live according to ' the 
laws of Nature,' and be very philosophical and very liberal, 
we are standing on the ground on which every savage tribe 
stands, or indeed on which every pack of wolves gallops." 




O any sincere and hearty believer in 
Historical Christianity the advance of 
Materialism and the consequent denial 
of the Supernatural must be the cause 
both of alarm and sadness. The few lead, the 
many follow ; and it is frequently the case that 
conclusions contrarient to the idea of the Super- 
natural are arrived at, after a course of reasoning, 
which conclusions appear to many wholly unjusti- 
fied, either by the premisses adopted, or from the 
argument that has ensued. 

It has been stated, in a serial of some ability,' 
that the final issue of the present conflict between 

' "Westminster Review," July, 1872. 


Christianity and Unbelief must turn on the admis- 
sion or denial of the Supernatural. But such a 
denial is in truth and fact nothing more nor less 
than a denial of God. He Who must necessarily 
be, from the very conception we form of Him, above 
nature, must also as Creator be above and superior 
to the thing He has created ; and if He be above 
nature, it follows that His actions must be above 
nature likewise. The Supernatural, consequently, 
must work in a supernatural manner, if the great 
Creator takes any active part, or indeed any part 
at all, in the permanent government of the order 
which He has been pleased to call into being. 

One may conceive that God Almighty should 
have framed and formed the orderly system of 
which our globe forms a part,' and sent it along its 

' " Is that a rational view of things held by many of the 
leaders of modern thought, — e.g. Strauss, — that the world is 
a great machine, and men no more than the chaff which is 
being crushed between its revolving cogs ? Does this satisfy 
the cravings of the human heart, the longings of the soul ? 
Of course they deny the existence of soul or spirit, and 
maintain that all is matter, developed into a self-revolving 
machine. Good ! Granted that the universe is a machine, 
let us at least have the notion of a machine clear and unmis- 
takeable. If a machine is anything, — and I am not arguing 
with those who say it is nothing, — it is the contrivance of an 
-intelligent being for some definite purpose ; it has a maker 
and it has a manager ; or if it works itself, it works so long 
and not longer than its maker intended. Those, therefore, 
who believe in mechanism, and deny the existence of God, 
condemn themselves ; for in the nature of the thing, where 
there is a contrivance, there must be an intelligence." — Edwin 


appointed way once for all, with an impulse as 
infinite and eternal as Himself, — an impulse which 
once given, should need neither fresh gifts nor 
renewed powers. But such an idea, though con- 
ceivable, is inconsistent with many of the physical 
phenomena we see around us,^ as also with the 
pliability and ceaseless variations which experience 
teaches us to be so characteristic of them. If man, 
in the exercise of his own personality, acts, and acts 

DE Lisle. Preface to a " Comparison between the History of 
the Church and the Prophecies of the Apocalypse." Lon- 
don : 1874. 

' Surely, whatever apparent intellectual difficulties rnay 
exist as to the existence of God, His non-existence would 
create still greater, and tax our powers to the utmost. Take 
God away from the one orderly and harmonious system of 
existence, in whom as its Creator the manifold threads of 
the vast and complex whole meet, and the bond of "cohesion 
is lost, the unity ceases, that which is complete is dismem- 
bered. On the other hand, let God be the centre and Author 
of Creation, and all is harmonious. Let God be absent, and 
the spectacle of a world all in motion from end to end, through 
every unit of the immense aggregate, and yet with no fixed 
point anywhere, is enough to make the head giddy and the 
heart sick. Such a world as ours without a God is the most 
impossible of all impossibilities. If there be an effect without 
a cause, a design without a designer, an act without an agent, 
then an orderly and beautiful world may be supposed capable 
of existing, without a centre of order or a spring of beauty. 
But so long as the law of causation retains its hold over the 
human mind as one of its most fundamental intuitions, the 
unbelief, which admits a creation but rejects a creator, must 
be esteemed to be the most helpless of all superstitions, the 
most credulous of all credulities. 


so that thing's are necessarily different to what they 
would have been if he had not thus acted, and no 
disturbance nor dislocation of the system around 
him ensues as a consequence of such action, surely 
He Who contrived the system in question can sub- 
sequently interpose both in the natural and spiri- 
tual order of the world. For to deny this possibility 
is obviously to place God on a lower level than 
man ; in other words, to make' the Creator of all 
things weaker and less free than His own creatures. 

Now, to go a step further, all human efforts to 
find out God have been the result of the combina- 
tion of ideas gleaned from human experience. 
These ideas have often enough been grotesque, 
fanciful, and distorted — a judgment which will be 
admitted to be accurate by all Christian people ; 
whether the gross conceptions of Pagan mythology 
or the nebulous speculations of modern "thinkers" 
are brought under consideration. That man, the 
created, cannot understand God the Creator — that 
the thing made cannot compass the Maker — is not 
only perfectly certain, but necessary. The being 
of God cannot be grasped by a finite intellect ; nor 
can such an intellect conceive the mode of an 
existence absolutely and utterly removed from 
created conditions. Such knowledge is too won- 
derful and excellent : we cannot attain unto it.^ 

But though it may be, and is, utterly impossible 

' Acts xvii. 27. 


to conceive Almighty God, it is anything but im- 
possible to conceive the fact and reality of His 
being. For, as is well known, the general thought 
and conscience of mankind have believed in a God, 
semper et ubiqiie, everywhere and at all times. Thus 
a thing may exist, and its existence may be perfectly 
patent to the understanding ; and furthermore its 
existence may be worthy of implicit belief ; while, 
at the same time, the thing itself may be found to 
transcend and overpass the limited powers of man's 
intellect. Take, for example, the ideas conveyed 
by the terms " eternal "^ and " infinite." Who can 
comprehend them } Who can explain them } Or- 
dinary popular conceptions make them mere in- 
definite extensions of duration and space; yet these 
conceptions need not and do not appear absurd, 
but, on the contrary, enable ideas, at once definite, 
distinct, and recognizable, to be conveyed from man 
to man. 

Thus, by a simple process of thought, we may 
see for ourselves the place and propriety of a Reve- 
lation, and appreciate the truth of the Supernatural. 
Here, in the province of a Revelation, not man's 
conception of God, but God Himself is set forth. 
Not so unlike ourselves is He that we find Him, 
with will, actions, and purposes, unintelligible ; but, 

' The idea of the eternal enters largely into the stock argu- 
ments of unbelief; for it is through the asserted "eternity 
of matter" that the unbeliever shifts away the ideas of crea- 
tion and a creator. 


using analogies gathered and systematized by ex- 
petience, we learn, at the same time, that our 
Creator is beyond the range both of thought and 
language — never to be fully known, until, with 
divinely-illuminated faculties in a higher state, we 
see Him face to face. 

And when we have attained to this point in our 
course of thought, the first leading fact of God's 
revelation meets us. Here it is : "There is but one 
living and true God, everlasting, without body, 
parts, or passions ; of infinite power, wisdom, and 
goodness ; the Maker and Preserver of all things, both 
visible and invisible. And in unity of this Godhead 
there be three Persons, of one substance, power, and 
eternity : the Father, the Son, and the Holy 
Ghost." 1 

Now in this revelation, given in its fullness by the 
Eternal Word, and bequeathed to the Christian 
Church, to be preserved and handed down for 
future generations, all is Supernatural. That body 
of doctrine which Christians believe, divinely 
guarded by the Church, was announced before- 
hand, centuries ere it was actually delivered, by a 
wisdom above nature — the divine light of prophecy. 
When it was set forth by the Eternal Word, its 
truth was attested in the face of a hostile people by 
a power above nature, whose word Creation obeyed, 
as in regularity, so in marked and palpable change. 

' Articles of Religion, No. i, Book of Common Prayer. 


This body of doctrine or gospel put forth a super- 
natural power in the strange rapidity and manifest 
success with which it subdued hearts to itself. 
Ancient Rome owned the Crucified as a Monarch 
conquering and to conquer. His Revelation, of the 
truth of which there shall be witnesses unto the 
end, is above nature, in that it alone provides ade- 
quate remedies for the manifold infirmities of the 
human race. The life it produces here is super- 
natural, as are also the means by which that life is 
created, and the efficient gifts by which it is being 
constantly renewed. Supernatural, too, is the work 
of the Holy Ghost, wrought out by human agents 
and human instrumentality ; changing, sanctifying, 
illuminating ; shadowing forth by its action the re- 
union of earth with heaven, of man with God, only 
to be completed and made perfect in the life to 

Now the purport of this volume is to show by 
examples of supernatural intervention — examples 
many of which have been gathered from quite 
recent periods — that Almighty God, from time to 
time, in various ways and by different human in- 
struments, still condescendingly reveals to man 
glimpses of the world unseen, and shows the exist- 
ence of that life beyond the grave, in which the 
sceptic and materialist of the present restless age 
would have us disbelieve, and which they themselves 
scornfully reject. 

From the sure and solid standing-point of His- 


torical Christianity, believing Holy Scripture to be 
the Word of God, and the Christian Church to be 
the divinely-formed corporation for instructing, 
guiding, and illuminating mankind, remarkable ex- 
amples of the Supernatural, miracles, spectral ap- 
pearances of departed spirits, providential warnings 
by dreams and otherwise, the intervention and 
ministry of good angels, the assaults of bad, the 
certain power and efficacy of the gifts of Holy 
Church, the sanctity of consecrated places, and the 
persevering malignity of the devil and his legions, 
are gathered together, and set forth in the pages to 
follow. For it may reasonably be believed that, as 
Almighty God has graciously vouchsafed to inter- 
vene in the affairs of mankind in ages long past, so 
there has never been a period in which such merci- 
ful intervention has not from time to time taken 
place. Granted that in the days of Moses and 
Aaron, and of Elijah and Elisha, man owned mira- 
culous powers, and wrought wonders by the gift of 
God ; granted that in dreams and visions the will 
of the Most High was sometimes made known to 
favoured individuals of the Jewish Dispensation ; 
remembering the miracles of our Lord's apostles 
and disciples, and bearing in mind the divine and 
supernatural powers which were first entrusted to, 
and have been ever since exercised by, the Catholic 
Church, it is at once unreasonable and unphilo- 
sophical to deny the existence in the world of the 
supernatural and miraculous. As will be abun- 


dantly set forth, their presence and energy are in 
perfect accord and harmony with the universal ex- 
perience of mankind. Sceptics may contemn and 
object, materiahsts may scoff; but numerous facts 
as well as a very general sentiment are against their 
conclusions and convictions. 

Floating straws show the direction and force of a 
current. As an example of the lengths to which an 
adoption of the materialistic principle will lead 
some persons, who regard themselves as " philoso- 
phers," and as a specimen of the dangers which 
threaten us, it may be well to refer briefly to the 
proposal which has recently been formally and pub- 
licly made, viz., that in certain cases of hopeless 
disease or imbecile old age, physicians should be 
legally authorized to put an end to such patients by 

Thus, when the head of a family becomes old or 
borders on childishness, the son, by going through 
the proposed legal formality, may stand by and 
witness the poisoning of his father, and so enter on 
the possession of his property. When a mother 
becomes old, the daughter may assist in a similar 
manner at her mother's death. A crippled child, a 
weak-minded relation, an infirm member of the 
family, according to the "philosophers," should 
have a poisonous drug efficiently administered ; 
that so the weak, crippled, or imbecile might be 
murdered and put out of the way. Thus these 
philosopher-fanatics assure us that " the natural law 


of the preservation of the fittest," propounded by 
them, will come into active and unchecked opera- 
tion. Having warned us that the penalty we endure 
for ignoring this "law" is a population largely com- 
posed of weak, unhealthy, poor and suffering 
people, they now earnestly recommend a "scientific 
method," by which the lame, the blind, the weak, 
and the imbecile should be cleared off from the 
stage of life.^ "Natural selection," would, unchecked 
and never opposed, have preserved alive only the best 
and noblest types ; and as, they tell us in their in- 
fallible wisdom, this principle or law has developed 
us so far from the mollusk to the man, it might by 
this time, had it been carefully and faithfully ap- 
plied, have developed us, if not into angels, at least 
into nineteenth-century savages of great muscular 
power. This is the odious message to mankind 
which naturalistic Materialism announces. And if 
we confine ourselves to what is sometimes called 
" science " — that is, exclusive knowledge of things 

' Christianity, as we know, exhorted men and women to the 
Ccire of the aged, the suffering, and the infirm. Our Blessed 
Saviour's promise, regarding the gift of a cup of cold water 
and its reward, was not forgotten. Christian love resisted 
and cast out Pagan selfishness. Hospitals were built where 
the diseases of the poor might be cured ; where the sore 
distress of hopeless pain and slow wasting-away might be 
soothed ; and asylums were provided where the weak and 
imbecile might be tended. Now if the Pagan theories of 
" scientific people " are applied, the chief duty of physicians 
in the future will be to poison their patients. Such a concep- 
tion would be ludicrous were it not so utterly revolting. 


material — such a conclusion as that arrived at, and 
such degrading principles as those propounded 
for acceptance and practice, may not be altogether 
unreasonable.^ In this kind of " science " there is 

1 A writer in an influential organ of opinion connected with 
the American Church puts forth the following vigorous pro- 
test :— 

" It is quite as well that we should be accustomed to 
the logical consequences of some of our philosophies. The 
tradition of Christianity is so strong upon the most 'advanced' 
of our wise men that it holds them back from the carrying- 
out of their principles. But here and there is one, and we 
should all be thankful to him who is so intellectually consti- 
tuted that he must carry ' a law ' to its issue, and by the issue 
let us see the nature of the law. The hint of what may be is 
given in the revival of the advocacy of suicide for the wretched, 
and the putting to death of the helpless. Naturalism carried 
out comes to that conclusion. Mr. Herbert Spencer had 
been patiently laying down principles which scores who think 
they think are accepting, without the slightest idea, on his 
part apparently or on theirs, that they are simple savagery 
and pure Paganism, and that the man who dines off his aged 
mother has been acting on them, though Mr. Spencer's name 
had never been heard in his native speech. 

" In some sense of the supernatural, in some faith in the 
unseen, in some feeling that man is not of this world, in some 
grasp on the Eternal God, and on an eternal, supernatural, 
and supersensuous life, lies the basis of all pity and mercy, all 
help and comfort and patience and sympathy among men. 
Set these aside, commit us only to the natural, to what our 
eyes see and our hands handle ; and while we may organize 
society scientifically, and live according to 'the laws of 
nature,' and be very philosophical and very liberal, we are 
standing on the ground on which every pack of wolves 

" One may safely say, ' If you will show me, on any prin- 


little else but coldness, cruelty, and savagery. Only 
the strong have a right to live. The weak were 
born to have their life trampled out, and, according 
to this newly-revived theory, the sooner it is done 
the better. The murder of the lame, the halt, and 
the blind, therefore, becomes thoroughly scientific, 
and follows as a matter of course. Its practice is 
based upon laws which the materialists have been 
for some time proclaiming to be "supreme." If 
there be no supernatural basis of life, if the super- 
natural have no real existence, if man be of the 
earth earthy, if he be only an outgrowth of the dumb 
forces of matter (the first article of the creed of 
these " philosophers "), if he be governed solely and 
altogether, absolutely and completely by an inexor- 
able material law (the highest and the only law, as 

ciple of naturalism, or any rule of what you shallowly in these 
days call ' philosophy,' on any law of nature, why I should 
not strangle my deaf and dumb child, smother my paralytic 
father, or drown my hopelessly insane wife, then I will turn 
materialist also.' We are far from believing that these gentle- 
men know how they have been undermining the foundations 
of civilized and social life. A lurid glare cast across these 
speculations, like this English discussion of Euthanasia, may 
startle some whom Mr. Tyndall's discussion of the scientific 
absurdity of prayer might not startle, though both are locked 
in one, and stand or fall together. But however it be, we are 
sure that man will find that society stands on supernatural 
ground, that the Family and the Nation are divine, and that 
' Naturalism,' modified or disguised as it may be, is only 
isolated savagery — f every man for himself, and the weakest 
to the wall.' " 


they would have us beHeve), then, of course, their 
conclusion inevitably follows — that it is both merci- 
ful and wise to put a man out of his misery when he 
becomes a burden both to himself and his friends. 
There is no place in the lofty and elevating system 
of Naturalism for a being who cannot take care of 

Again : while Scepticism is rampant, and some 
are endeavouring to bring back the Pagan notions 
of ancient nations, to galvanize into new life the 
corrupt imbecilities of the past, men of science are 
making assertions and assumptions of the boldest, 
if not of the wildest nature. One such recently main- 
tained the following proposition : — " Taking our 
earth, we know that millions of years have passed 
since she began to be peopled." Now, the main- 
tainer of this assertion notoriously holds some 
peculiar theories about the means by which the solar 
system (and consequently other systems) was made, 
or rather grew. These theories, in some of their de- 
tails, are or may be founded upon certain more or 
less well-ascertained facts. But when he uses the 
term "know," we are bold to point out that such 
an assertion rests on mere assumption.^ We need 

' A writer in the " Church Journal " of New York puts the 
case well and fairly as follows : — " The scientific people have 
taken up the lost weapons of bigoted theological polemics, 
and assail with the rough sides of their tongues and pens any 
man who calls for further c .idence, or presumes to bring their 
assumptions to the test of examination. But having no more 


facts, — facts which could stand the careful investi- 
gation of persons skilled in taking and measuring 
evidence ; and secondly, we require to be reasonably 
convinced that no other possible explanation of a 
difficulty be forthcoming, except that on which his 
assumption is founded and his inevitable conclu- 
sion (as he regards it) deduced. But how often 
with scientific people the phrase " We know" stands 
for "This is our theory," or rather "This is our 
present \}i\Q.oxy \'^ for scientific theories change very 
frequently ; and points which have been most dog- 
matically laid down at one period have been with 
equal dogmatism condemned and repudiated at 
another, by those who apparently strain every 
nerve and exercise every gift bestowed upon them,- 
to deny and cast out the Supernatural from amongst 

From the introduction to a volume of great inter- 
est ("The Maxims and Examples of the Saints"), 

reverence for the unsustained dicta of Sir Charles Lyell, 
Mr. Proctor, or Professor Tyndall, than for the same sort 
oi dicta from a Middle Age monk, we shall go on calling for 
proof. Our credulity is incapable of saying ' we know' about 
a thing of which, when we examine, nobody ' knows ' any- 
thing, except that some scientific man asserts it in his book. 

" We are not * enemies to science ;' we only want science, 
and not guesses. And the thoroughly unscientific, uncritical, 
and credulous way in which men like Mr. Proctor are 
declaring ' we know ' about things of which they know no- 
thing, is one of the greatest obstacles with which science has 
to contend." 


the following extract is taken, both because of its 
inherent truth, and also because the Christian 
instinct in defence of the Supernatural is so pro- 
minently and forcibly expressed in every line. Mr. 
de Lisle's words stand thus : — 

" In these days of shallowness and scepticism, 
men pride themselves on calling everything into 
question, as if they proved their claim to wisdom 
according to the measure of their unbelief But 
those who dive a little deeper into things will not 
be so ready to admit the claims of modern insolent 
writers. They will find that our ancestors had 
heads as sound, judgments as cool and unpreju- 
diced, at least, as any of these moderns ; and the 
more they examine, the more reasons will they find 
for attaching weight to their testimony. In my 
intercourse abroad with divers holy priests and 
religious monks, I have seen and heard enough to 
convince me that many things take place in this 
world of a supernatural order. Nor do I believe 
there ever has been a period in the history of the 
Church, when our Lord has not borne testimony 
to her divine truth, and to the admirable sanctity 
of many of her children, by evident and glorious 
miracles. This is the faith of the Church ; and who 
shall gainsay the teaching of that society that car- 
ries with it the experience of eighteen centuries, the 
immutable promises of God, the attestations of 
innumerable martyrs, and the consent of nations .-' 
To him who believes the words of the holy Gospel, 


' The works that I do shall they do also, and greater 
than these,' &c. (speak not now to the unbeliever), 
the conclusion will be clear, and humble faith will 
bow with submission. Keeping this ' promise in 
view, the Christian will not find it difficult to be- 
lieve even the most wonderful histories in the lives 
of the Saints ; at all events, his spirit will not be 
that which loves to question everything, still less 
that which treats the testimony of devout writers 
with levity or scorn. To the humble observer of 
the ways of Divine Providence, enough occurs 
every day to prepare him for any manifestation of 
the Power of God : not to say that there is not a 
state in Christendom in which, even in our own 
times, many wonderful miracles have not taken 
place. Witness the glorious appearance of a vast 
cross of fire in the heavens at Migne, near Poictiers 
in France, in the year 1826, in the month of Decem- 
ber, an event which was attested on oath before 
the bishop of the diocese by several thousand 
eye-witnesses.^ Josephus relates the prodigies that 
appeared in the heavens before the downfall of 
Jerusalem : and who shall say that this sublime ap- 
parition in France did not portend the approaching 
calamities that have since fallen upon that kingdom 
and upon Europe } In the years 1830 and 1831, blood 
miraculously flowed from the arms of S. Nicholas, 

' " La Croix de Mignd vengee de I'incredulite du siecle." 
Published at Paris, in 1829. 


at Tolentino in Italy, and the circumstance was 
solemnly attested by the bishop, the clergy, and the 
magistrates of that city. History records similar 
prodigies to have taken place at Tolentino when- 
ever any calamities were about to befall Christen- 
dom, S. Nicholas has been dead above 500 years. 
I myself had the consolation to visit his shrine ; 
and I heard from several individuals, with tears in 
their eyes, the affecting recital of the miracle. Who 
does not call to mind the wonderful manifestations 
of God's power at Rome and at Ancona during the 
period of the French Revolution, in the year 1792 .^ 
Innumerable images of our Blessed Redeemer, and 
of his Virgin Mother, were seen to move their eyes, 
and some even to weep. Nor were these events 
seen only by a few, they were beheld and attested by 
thousands.^ The miracles that God has performed 
by means of the holy Prince Hohenlohe are known 
to all, and some of them have been wrought even 
in England. These are facts so notorious, that no 
one can call them in question ; nor is it in the 
power of profane ridicule to throw doubt over their 
authenticity. At the same time, it will always be 
true that the Catholic Church does not oblige her 
children to believe any miracles but those recorded 
in the sacred Scriptures ; she leaves it to the dis- 

' "Account of the Miraculous Events at Rome in the years 
1792 and 1793." Pubhshed in London, by Keating and 
Brown, Duke Street, Grosvenor Square. 



cretion of each individual to ground his conviction 
on the evidence which has come before him ; though 
it would not be an act of piety, or worthy of praise 
for anyone to speak lightly of such miracles as 
have been honoured by the approbation of the 
Holy See." 

As a mark of rapid theological decline, it may here be put 
on record, that a recent writer, the author of " Supernatural 
Religion : an Inquiry into the Reality of Divine Revelation " 
(Longman: 1874), sets forth his "views" (not his "opinion," 
least of all his faith, but his " views ") as follows : — 

" The importance which has been attached to theology by 
the Christian Church, almost from its foundation, has been 
subversive of Christian morality. In sicrreiidering its mira- 
culotis element and its claims to supernatural origin, therefore, 
the religion of Jesus does not lose its virtue, or the qualities 
which have made it a blessing to hu7nanity. It sacrifices 
none of that elevated character which has distinguished and 
raised it above all human systems : it merely relinquishes a 
claim which it has shared with all antecedent religions, and 
severs its cormection with ignorant superstition. It is too 
divine in its morality to require the aid of miraculous attri- 
butes. No supernatural halo can heighten its spiritual beauty, 
and no mysticism deepen its holiness. In its perffect sim- 
plicity it is subhme, and in its profound wisdom it is eternal. 

" We gaifi infinitely more than we lose in abatidoning belief 
in the reality of Divitie revelation. Whilst we retain pure 
and unimpaired the treasure of Christian morality, we relin- 
quish nothing but the debasing elements added to it by human 
superstition. We are no longer bound to believe a theology 
which outrages reason and 7noral sense. We are freed from 
base anthropomorphic views of God and His government of 
the universe ; and from Jewish theology we rise to higher con- 


ceptions of an infinitely wise and beneficent Being, hidden 
from our finite minds, it is true, in the impenetrable glory of 
Divinity, but whose laws of wondrous comprehensiveness and 
perfection we ever perceive in operation around us. We arc 
tto longer disturbed by visions of fitful interference with tJie 
order of Nature, but we recognize that the Being who regu- 
lates the universe is without variableness or shadow of turn- 
ing. It is singular how little there is in the supposed revela- 
tion of alleged information, however incredible, regarding 
that which is beyond the limits of human thought ; but that 
little is of a character which reason declares to be the ' wild- 
est delusion.' Let no man, whose belief in the reality of 
Divine Revelation may be destroyed by such inquiry, com- 
plain that he has lost a precious possession, and that nothing 
is left but a blank. TJie revelation not being a reality, that 
which he has lost was but an illusion, and that which is left 
is the truth." 

In another volume recently written by Mr. Congreve, the 
Positivist, the author maintains in the plainest possible lan- 
guage, what is the immediate and practical object of the 
small sect to which he has allied himself :—" The professed 
servants of Humanity must lead in the struggle to eliminate 
God; and that this is the essential element in the whole 
existing perplexity is forcing itself upon all." Again, man's 
duty is said to be " openly and avowedly to take service in 
one or the other of the opposing camps ; to bring face to face 
the two beliefs ; the belief in the Past, the belief in God, and 
the belief in the Future, the belief in Humanity ; and to 
choose deliberately between them." Furthermore, he avers : 
"We contemplate the Trinity of our religion. Humanity, the 
World, and Space." A Christian critic has made the follow- 
ing terse comments on Mr. Congreve's book: — 

"The chief feeling which possesses us in reading these 
Essays is one of sorrow for the writer. It is really sad that a 
man of education should lend himself to such a delusion. 
The * Religion ' itself is ridiculous ; indeed it has not so much 
as a theory. Not even on paper can its doctrines be stated, 
for the simple reason that it has no doctrines whatever. But 


it is always melancholy to watch a naturally good intellect 
under the sway of a fantastic idea, or to. see an educated 
gentleman writing 500 pages on the ' Worship ' of what does 
not exist. The sensation of the reader, as he turns page after 
page, is expressed in such an inquiry as this : Since the writer 
himself believes in nothing whatever, how can he invite my 
conversion ?" 



" And He said unto them, Go ye into all the World, and 
preach the Gospel to every creature. He that believeth and 
is baptized shall be saved ; but he that believeth not shall be 

" And these signs shall follow them that believe : In My 
Name shall they cast out devils ; they shall speak with new 
tongues ; they shall take up serpents ; and if they drink any 
deadly thing, it shall not hurt them ; they shall lay hands on 
the sick and they shall recover." — S. Mark xvi. 15-18. 



HE important subject of the Miraculous 
in Church History sufficiently well 
known to students of it, involves the ex- 
istence of a religious principle of uni- 
versal application. This will be apparent, in due 
course, from the following preliminary considera- 
tions : — "A miracle," writes Hume, "is a violation of 
the laws of Nature ; and, as a firm and unalterable 
experience has established these laws, the proof 
against a miracle is as entire as any argument from 
experience can possibly be imagined." ^ Further on, 
he declares " that a miracle supported by any human 
testimony is more properly a subject of derision 
than of argument."' On these staten:cnts, definite 

' Hume's " Essays and Treatises on Various Subjects,"' 
second edition, vol. ii. p. 122. London, 1784. 
■' Ibid. vol. ii. p. 133. 


and precise as they appear, and yet not sufficiently 
definite, it may be remarked in the first place that 
no human experience is unalterable : it may to a 
certain person or certain persons have been hitherto 
unaltered. But this is all. Are there then no facts be- 
yond our experience — no natural positions or states 
with which we are unacquainted .-* When a man 
writes of " unalterable experience," he obviously 
means so much of that experience, as either medi- 
ately or immediately has come to his knowledge ; 
in other words his own past experience.^ And this 

' Take for example the subject of meteoric stones. Marked 
changes with regard to a belief in these, have existed in the 
past. The scholar can testify that antiquity is undoubtedly 
in favour of their existence. Plutarch, for example, in his 
" Life of Lysander," describes a celebrated aerolite which fell 
in Thrace, and History testifies unmistakably to similar events 
— more particularly to the preservation of such in ancient 
temples. Yet it was not until the year 1803, when meteoric 
stones fell at L'Aigle in Normandy, that the Academy of 
Sciences in Paris appointed a committee to investigate the 
case, and their report determined the question. Mr. W. G. 
Nevill, F.G. S., of Gresham Street, City, London, comprises 
the above in the following testimony to facts which appeared 
in the " Standard," of Feb. 25, 1873. "With reference to a 
paragraph headed ' An Exercise of Credulity ' in your paper 
of the 24th instant, allow me to offer a few observations, as 
the circumstance narrated therein of the fall of an aerolite 
on board the Seven Stones light-vessel, as narrated by the 
crew, is of extreme interest. The men in the light-vessel 
service are carefully selected by the elder brethren of the 
Trinity House and trained to make observations on the 
weather and record them in books at the time, which books 
are received as evidence in the Admiralty Court. Their 


Hume declares sufficient to enable him to determine 
what are the unvarying laws of Nature, and, by- 
consequence, what are miracles. But surely here 
is something akin to arrogance. For what modest 
person would venture to maintain his own experi- 
ence to be altogether and absolutely firm and un- 
alterable .'' Who would declare of a witness, who 
testified, for example, what was contrary to that 
experience, that such a man was worthy only of 
disbelief and derision .'' And yet many, in the 
present day, adopt and put into practice this un- 
stable and imperfect theory of Hume. 

What has been set forth above in opposition to 
that theory is still more pointedly expressed in the 
following remarkable passage : 

" The natural philosopher when he imagines a 
physical impossibility which is not an inconceive- 

account agrees in the main with the details given in other 
cases. My father, Mr. W. Nevill, of Godalming, has a collec- 
tion of specimens of 226 distinct falls of such bodies. These 
take place in all parts of the world. I believe only one 
instance has before been recorded in England. That occurred 
at Wold Cottage, Thwing, Yorkshire, on Dec. 13, 1795. One 
of the earliest recorded falls took place at Guisheim, in Alsace, 
during a battle, Nov. 7, 1492, and was preserved, in the 
neighbouring church. A large shower of stones took place at 
L'Aigle, in north of France, on April 26, 1803 (not very far 
from the Seven Stones). These stones are of a grey ashy 
colour and invariably coated with black enamel ; other meteo- 
rites are composed of solid native iron, and are sometimes of 
large size, as the one at Bitburg in Rhenish Prussia, which 
weighed several tons." 


ability, merely states that his phenomenon is 
against all that has been hitherto known of the 
course of Nature. Before he can compass an 
impossibility, he has a hu^e postulate to ask of his 
reader or hearer, a postulate which Nature never 
taught : it is that the Future is always to agree with 
the Past. How, do you know that this sequence of 
phenomena always will be ? Answer, Because it 
must be. But how do you know that it must be .'' 
Answer, Because it always has been. But then, 
even granting that it always has been, how do you 
know that what always has been always will be } 
Answer, I see my mind compelled to that conclu- 
sion. And how do you know that the leanings of 
your mind are always towards truth ? Because I 
am infallible, the answer ought to be ; but this 
answer is never given." ^ 

Of course no Christian will deny the following 
elementary propositions here briefly stated, before 
die general subject is further discussed. First that 
man consists of body and soul, the nobler and more 
important part being the soul, which is spiritual, im- 
mortal, and eternal. God, the Creator of all things, 
is a Spirit ; and, in this particular, man is made in 
the image of God. Destined to dwell on the earth 
for a while, during an appointed period of proba- 
tion, man passes by death, which is a temporary 
separation of soul and body, to the life beyond the 

' "Athenaeum," for March 12, 1859, p. 350. 


grave. Man's duty here, therefore, ought to fit and 
prepare him for a future state, and teach him better 
the value of his soul and the reality of the Super- 

Now the Almighty, in calling man into being 
here, and making him "lord of the whole earth," 
giving him, in fact, dominion over the beasts of the 
field, the fowls of the air, and the fishes of the 
sea, has established in connection with him a two- 
fold order, the natural, which relates to the visible 
world, and the Supernatural or miraculous, which 
concerns the spiritual and invisible. The natural 
order comprises the law of nature, by which the 
World created by God is governed, and concerns 
man in his dealings with nature. But the Super- 
natural concerns him in his relations with God and 
the world of spirits. Both orders are alike from God, 
and each has its appointed sphere. The Author of 
both is the controller of each. And, as if to indi- 
cate to man from time to time that God has some- 
thing to say in His own creation, and will not be 
totally excluded from it by man's forgetfulness, the 
Supernatural is wisely and mercifully interwoven 
with the natural, to remind man, by the Glimpses 
occasionally vouchsafed of the former, that, though 
the World has been made for his use and advantage, 
many things in it speak eloquently of a continued 
existence in the future, though now the same World's 
fashion most surely passeth away. How prone man 
becomes, by constantly contemplating the natural, 


to thrust the Supernatural aside, is the experience of 
many. And this being so, how merciful is God to 
remind us of the next world, not only by the ordi- 
nary modes and channels appointed for so doing, 
by change, by revelation, by death ; but occasionally 
by suddenly, strangely, and abruptly breaking in 
upon the usual order of events, and the ordinary 
course of nature, to let us see with our natural eyes, 
and hear with our ears, that He is. Thus the Super- 
natural indicates the tracing of the Finger of God. 
Freely, and for a lofty purpose, to set forth His- 
glory, power, and mercy, He created the laws of 
nature ; freely, and for a like lofty purpose, He 
sometimes suspends them. Such intervention on 
His part, such a suspension, is a miracle, which may 
be defined as " a record and evidence of the Super- 
natural manifesting itself in the midst of the natural 
order ; " or, as S. Thomas Aquinas so clearly and 
ably defined it of old, " A miracle is an act per- 
formed by God out of the ordinary course of 
nature." In accepting this, we do but maintain 
that God alone is the Author and Controller of all 
laws, whether natural or supernatural. Historical 
Christianity calls upon us to believe, firstly, the great 
principle that miracles are possible ; and, secondly, 
tliat those recorded in Holy Scripture, ranging from 
the time of Moses to that of S. John the Divine, 
are true. Other miracles or miraculous interven- 
tions rest upon the value, purport, and character of 
the evidence and testimony forthcoming for their 


authenticity. They are all equally possible, be- 
cause all are acts of the Almighty ; but they are 
not all equally credible, because the evidence of 
their authenticity may be of a less precise, defi- 
nite, and well-authenticated character. 

To assert, as some do, that a miraculous inter- 
vention implies change or contradiction in God, is 
inaccurate ; for in His works surely He may exer- 
cise that liberty Avhich is one of His perfections. 
Were man's range of vision wider than it is, the 
working of a miracle might be found to be, after all, 
only the realization and carrying out of God's 
original design and primary purpose. Again, from 
the point of view of another objection, to maintain 
that we cannot knoAv what a miracle is, or whether 
any miracle has been ever wrought, without being 
acquainted Avith all the laws of nature, is likewise 
inaccurate ; for we know enough, both of the natural 
and supernatural, to be perfectly certain that it is 
out of the ordinary course of nature for a dead 
man to come to life again. While, then, such a 
miracle teaches us to acknowledge the power of 
God, it may, at the same time, serve to let the 
Materialist realize his own possible ignorance of the 
laws of nature. For after all there may be some 
hidden law, as yet unknown, which may contradict 
a known law, and so modify it — a probability which 
is at least deserving of the consideration of those 
who altogether deny the Supernatural. 

As regards miracles, let the well-known argument 


of the great S. Augustine of Hippo be considered : 
" Christianity," he writes, " \'«^as either founded by 
miracles, or it was not. If it was, then miracles 
exist. If it was not, then this is the greatest of all 
miracles, viz. that a religion so radically contrarient 
to all human prejudices, and so much resisted by all 
human influence,, should, without the aid of mira- 
cles, have made its place and assured its progress 
in the world." If, again, the only evidence that a 
person will admit is that of his own personal expe- 
rience, that he must himself witness a miracle ; that, 
like S. Thomas, he will maintain, "Except I shall 
see .... I will not believe," has he not power of 
mind enough to appreciate the fact that he is in 
every way unreasonable, by demanding for himself 
that which he altogether refuses to admit in others .-• 

But, in truth, the miracles of our Blessed Lord, 
and more particularly the miracle of His Resurrec- 
tion, were so striking and convincing, being testified 
to, both as regards their act and consequences, by 
so many, that they produced both conviction and 
triumph. Not universally, but with a sufficient 
number of persons to ensure the steady increase of 
the infant Church — though the very miracles which 
wrought such a vast moral and religious change, 
were rejected by the unbelievers of the day. 

In the Church of the primitive, as well as in later, 
ages, the Supernatural was being constantly mani- 
fested. The apostles proved the divinity of their 
mission by the power of their works. The miracles 


recorded in the " Acts of the Apostles " were fol- 
lowed by others equally marvellous and remarkable 
in succeeding periods — a feature that might have 
been most reasonably looked for in the history of 
Christianity, for the very life and spirit of the 
Church are supernatural.^ Persecuted in every age, 
slie has risen again. After being cast down, driven 
from this place in one century, she has made still 
greater progress elsewhere in another. For the first 
tJiree hundred years of her existence, and in the 
very heart of the world's civilization, Rome, every 
patriarchal primate of that Holy See died a witness 
to the truths of Christianity. The ordinary super- 
natural powers of our Lord's first followers were 
duly inherited by those formally set apart to fill 
their place and office. Men freely testified to what 
tliey had seen and heard. As occasion seemed to 
need it, the divine power was duly manifested in 
outward, notable, and noted acts, — to the truth and 
reality of which even Profane History has abun- 
dantly witnessed. 

' Testimonies to the Supernatural amongst Christian writers 
are abundant. The following may be instanced as a few 
concerning such events, both in the second and third centu- 
ries : — Justin JMartyr, Ap. ii. cap. vi. ; Dial, cum Tryph. 
cap. xxxix. and Ixxxii. ; Irenaeus, ii. 31 and v. 6 ; TertuUian 
" Apolog." cap. 23, 27, 32, 37 ; " Origen against Celsus," 
book i. p. 7 and book vii. pp. 334-335, Ed. Spencer ; Diony- 
sius of Alexandria, in " Eccl. Hist." of Eusebius, vi. 40 ; 
Minucius Felix Octav. p. 361, Ed. Paris, 1605 ; S. Cyprian, 
" De Idol. Vanit." p. 14. 


While in the records of the Christian Church 
there is an almost constant tradition of miraculous 
facts. The tale of every century is rife with them. 
They were to have been anticipated,- because He 
had spoken Whose Word shall never fail, and His 
promise seems to have been always remembered : 
" Verily, verily I say unto you. He that believeth 
on Me, the works that I do he shall do also ; and 
greater works than these shall he do ; because I go 
unto My Father." ^ Consequently it is found that 
many of the later miracles, those termed " eccle- 
siastical," in distinction to scriptural, are even more 
remarkable than those wrought by our Blessed Lord 
Himself — a fact which, instead of deserving ridicule 
and contempt, merits, from persons of a Christian 
habit of mind, patient consideration, and a careful, 
if not a ready, acceptance. For in such the faithful 
will only perceive a perfect realization of their 
Master's divine pledge. \ 

To take a notable example of the miraculous 
occurring towards the close of the second century 
(a.d. 174), testified to, as far as the fact of the 
miracle is concerned, by at least four independent 
Pagan writers, Dionysius Cassius, Julius Capitol- 
inus, .^lius Lampridius, and Claudian. 

Eusebius, in his " Ecclesiastical History," ^ puts 
on record the following account of a most remark- 

' S. John xiv. 12. 

^ " Hist. Eccles." cap. v. Chronicon. p. 82. 


able event :^ — " It is said that when Marcus Aurelius 
Caesar was forming his troops in order of battle 
against the Germans and Sarmatians, he was re- 
duced to extremities by a failure of water. Mean- 
while the soldiers in the so-called * Melitene legion,' 
which for its faith remains to this day, knelt down 
upon the ground, as we are accustomed to do, in 
prayer, and betook themselves to supplication. 
And whereas this sight was strange to the enemy, 
another still more strange happened immediately — 
thunderbolts which caused the enemy's flight and 
overthrow ; and upon the army to which the men 
were attached, who had called upon God, a rain, 
which restored it entirely when it was all but 

' The following version by Dio. Cassius, translated from 
the "Annals" of Baronius, affords no slender testimony to 
the account by Eusebius given in the text : — " When the bar- 
barians would not give them battle, in hopes of their perish- 
ing by heat and thirst, since they had so surrounded them that 
they had no possible means of getting water ; and when they 
were in the utmost distress from sickness, wounds, sun, and 
thirst, and could neither fight nor retreat, but remained in 
order of battle and at their posts in this parched condition, 
suddenly clouds gathered, and a copious rainfall, not without 
the mercy of God. And when it first began to fall, the 
Romans, raising their mouths towards heaven, received it 
upon them ; next, turning up their shields and helmets, they 
drank largely out of them, and gave to their horses. And 
when the barbarians charged them, they drank as they 
fought, and numbers of them were wounded. . . . And 
while they were thus incurring heavy loss from the assault of 
the enemy, because most of them were engaged in drinking, 
a violent hailstorm and much lightning were discharged upon 



perishing by thirst." This fact had been pre- 
viously put on record by Claudius Apollinaris/ 
Bishop of Hierapolis, in his " Apology for Chris- 
tianity," addressed about the year- 176 to the 
Emperor Marcus. Tertullian, about fifteen years 
later, affirms the truth of the same fact when 
addressing the Proconsul of Africa. Each of these 
writers gives point to the narrative, the first by 
recording that henceforth the term "Thundering 
Legion " was applied to that in which the Christian 
soldiers had prayed : the second by his statement 
that the Emperor had, in consequence, promulgated 
an edict in favour of the Christians. It is clear 
from Eusebius, likewise, that the Pagans acknow- 
ledged the miracle, as they could not fail to do, 
wrought as it was in the presence of so many ; but, 
of course, they denied that it was to be attributed 
to the prayers of the Christians. Julius Capi- 
tolinus attributed it to the prayers of the Emperor ; ^ 
Dionysius Cassius to the operations of Arnuphis, an 

the enemy. And thus water and fire might be seen in the 
same place faUing from heaven, that some might drink 
refreshment and others be burnt to death." — Dion. Cass. 
" Hist." Ixxi. p. 805. 

' The treatise of Apolhnaris, it should be added, is lost ; 
and there seems to be some ground for believing that a par- 
ticular Legion bore the name " Thundering" as far back as 
the days of Augustus. This latter assertion, however, even 
if proved, cannot set aside the leading facts recorded in the 

^ " Life of Marcus Antonius," chap. xxiv. 


Egyptian magician.^ A record of the unquestioned 
fact, however, is sculptured on the Antonine column 
at Rome ; - a medal, struck the very year of the 
occurrence, likewise commemorates the event. Here, 
then, we find on record an occurrence which ordi- 
nary people will call a miracle ; here we obtain a 
distinct example of the Supernatural. In answer 
to the prayers of certain Roman soldiers, sons and 
servants of the Crucified, palpable benefits are 
vouchsafed, and marvellous deliverances effected. 
The foe is destroyed, and they are rescued. And 
this fact is testified to by Pagans worthy of credit 
as well as by Christians, and is put on record in the 
modes already set forth. 

Another example, the appearance of a lumin- 
ous Cross to Constantine (a.D. 312), must here be 
given, because of its inherent importance ; because 
the testimony to its having occurred before so many 
is very general ; and because the moral and reli- 
gious changes consequent upon it, results that both 
immediately and eventually followed, have been at 
once great and notorious : — ■ 

The conversion of the Roman empire, in the 
person of its head, was the most remarkable event 
in the early pages of Christian history. " Constan- 
tine's submission of his power to the Church," 
writes Dr. Newman, " has been a pattern for all 

' " Historia Romana," Ixi. 8. 

* Mosheim's " Ecclesiastical History " (Ed. Stubbsj, vol. i. 
pp. 99-101. London, 1863. 


Christian monarchs since, and the commencement 
of our state establishment to this day ; and, on the 
other hand, the fortunes of the Roman Empire are 
in prophecy apparently connected with her in a 
very intimate manner, which we are not yet able 
fully to comprehend. If any event might be said 
to call for a miracle it was this ; whether to signa- 
lize it, or to bring it about. Thus it was that the 
fate of Babylon was written on the wall of the ban- 
queting-hall ; also portents in the sky preceded 
the final destruction of Jerusalem, and are pre- 
dicted in Scripture as forerunners of the last great 
day. Moreover, our Lord's prophecy of ' the Sign 
of the Son of Man in Heaven' was anciently 
understood of the Cross. And further, the sign 
of the Cross was at the time, and had been from 
the beginning, a received symbol and instrument 
of Christian devotion, and cannot be ascribed to a 
then rising superstition. Tertullian speaks of it as 
an ordinary rite for sanctifying all the ordinary 
events of the day ; it was used in exorcisms ; and, 
what is still more to the point, it is regarded by S. 
Justin, Tertullian, and Minucius as impressed with 
a providential meaning upon natural forms and 
human works, as well as introduced by divine 
authority into the types of the Old Testament."^ 
The supernatural manner in which the Emperor's 

' "Two Essays on Scripture Miracles and on Ecclesias- 
tical," by J. H. Newman, pp. 273-4, Second Edition. Lon- 
don, 1870. 


conversion was accomplished may be thus recorded. 
Marching from the border of the Rhine, through 
Gaul and part of Italy by Verona to Rome, against 
the tyrant Maxentius, who had declared war against 
him, and was already near Rome with a largely 
superior force, Constantine solemnly and earnestly 
invoked the One True God, the God of the Chris- 
tians, for assistance and victory. At that period 
he was not a Christian himself, though he had no 
doubt accurately enough measured the true charac- 
ter of Roman paganism. A short time after mid- 
day, upon his march, there appeared in the heavens^ 
a large luminous Cross in sight of himself and the 
whole of his army, with the inscription surrounding 
it, " In this conquer." On the following night it is 
recorded that our Blessed Lord appeared to him in 
a dream, or, as some say, a vision, and commanded 
him to have a representation of the sign made, and 
to use it henceforth as his chief standard in battle. 
The Emperor, rising early the next morning, an- 
nounced this vision and message to his confidential 
friends, and at once gave orders for the making of 
the imperial standard.- This being done, fifty men 

' Socrates, Philostorgius, Gelasius, and Nicephorus declare 
that the Cross was in the sky. Sozomen, too, on the autho- 
rity of Eusebius, makes a similar statement. So likewise 
does Rufinus. 

- This standard was known by the name of the " La- 
barum " — a word the etymology of which is very uncertain. 
It was a pole plated with gold, upon which was laid hori- 
zontally a cross-bar, so as to form the figure of a cross. The 


of the stoutest and most religious of his guards 
were chosen to carry it. And, surrounded by 
these, it was borne immediately before the Em- 
peror himself. The Christian soldiers were full of 
faith and hope. They saw the Finger of God, and 
looked for victory. 

On the other, hand the army of Maxentius, con- 
sisting of three divisions of veteran soldiers, esteemed 
the most efficient in the empire, engaged Constan- 
tine in the Ouintian fields near the bridge Milvius. 
The attack was fast and furious. But the aggressors 
were at all points met with vigour and bravery, and 
soon succumbed and were in retreat. Constantine, 
with far fewer numbers than those opposed to him, 
was completely victorious; the legions of Maxentius 
were scattered or slain, and on the same day, with 
the sacred Labarum (as the imperial standard in 
question was termed) borne before him, he entered 
Rome in triumph. His conversion to Christianity 
soon followed upon his victory. In his triumph he 
dropped the old customs of his Pagan predecessors. 
He neither mounted the Capitol, nor offered sacri- 
fices to the deities of Rome, but by suitable inscrip- 
tions recorded his belief in the power of Christ's 

top of the perpendicular shaft was adorned with a golden 
crown, ornamented with precious stones. In the middle of 
this crown was a monogram representing the name of Christ 
by the two Greek initial letters x and p. A purple veil of a 
square figure hung from the cross-bar, which was likewise 
spangled with jewels. Gretser, " De Cruce," Lib. i. cap. iv. 


saving Cross. In his palace at Constantinople, as 
well as in the chief square of that city, the sacred 
sign was at once set up ; and medals were struck, 
with representations of the symbol in question upon 
them, to commemorate both the victory and his own 
religious change. This occurred about A.D. 312. 

Here then we find the record of a distinctively 
supernatural intervention. No known physical 
cause could have formed a sentence of Greek or 
Latin in the air. Nor could a whole army have 
mistaken a Cross, with its corresponding and appro- 
priate inscription, for a halo of light, or a mere 
natural phenomenon. Moreover: three years after 
the event, Constantine erected his triumphal arch 
at Rome, with an inscription, which still remains, 
testifying that he had gained the victory " instinctu 
divinitatis, mentis magnitudine." Lactantius, like- 
wise, in his treatise " De mortibus Persecutorum " (if 
it be his book, though some attribute it to Caecilius), 
asserts the main facts of the case as regards the 
dream, describing the " heavenly sign of God;" and 
this in a treatise certainly written within two years of 
its occurrence. Seven years later, Nazarius, a Pagan 
orator, in a panegyric on the Emperor, also puts 
upon record his solerrin conviction that celestial aid 
was miraculously rendered to Constantine in his 
defeat of Maxentius. Thus far those who were not 
Christians testify to the fact under consideration. 
On the other hand, Euscbius, who received the 
account from Constantine himself (who is known to 


have confirmed it with an oath), gives that record 
of the occurrence which has been already set forth 
— and he was notoriously an historian who had small 
leaning towards over-belief. While the reasonable 
conclusion, therefore, is that so many independent 
writers and records of the fact could not have been 
made to conspire in disseminating a falsehood ; the 
action of the Emperor which followed the event was 
in perfect harmony with that which might have been 
looked for under the circumstances narrated — the 
supernatural appearanceof a luminous Cross, herald- 
ing a change, even the triumph of the Religion of 
Christ over the effete systems of a decaying and 
decayed idolatry. 

The principle which was manifested in these cases 
is, through the study of history, likewise seen to have 
existed and energized in every part of the Church. 
Everywhere, from time to time, the proximity of the 
unseen world and the existence of the Supernatural 
were made manifest : while, here and there, examples 
of special miraculous interventions evidently stood 
forth to show that neither the Arm of the Most High 
was shortened nor the faith of the followers of our 
Blessed Lord stunted in its growth. In fact miracles 
of the most remarkable character have been per- 
formed from the age of the apostles to the present 
time : while Glimpses of the Supernatural have been 
granted to many as partially unfolding the mysteries 
of the Unseen World to those who longed and prayed 
for the same ; by which glimpses or visions their 


faith has been deepened and their conviction of 
the truths of Christianity most surely strengthened. 
Just as our Blessed Saviour, following Moses, con- 
stantly appealed to the prodigies He wrought in 
attestation of His divine mission and in support of 
His doctrine ; so was" it with His followers who 
came after Him. For to them He had promised as 
much. So far therefore from confining the power 
of working miracles to His own person and time, 
He expressly pledged himself and promised that 
His servants and ambassadors should receive power 
to work still greater works.^ Just as under the laws 
of Nature and the written law given by Moses, the 
Almighty was pleased to illustrate the society of His 
chosen servants with frequent miracles, so we are 
led to expect that the One Family of God should 
be for ever distinguished by occasional miracles 
wrought in and through her, as a standing proof of 
her divine origin and as a guide to the wanderers 
beyond the confines of her fold. And thus it comes 
to pass that the Fathers and Teachers of the Church, 
amongst other proofs of her favour, have constantly 
appealed to the miracles by which she is illustrated 
as a proof of her heavenly mission, and as marking 
her off, at the same time, from the various hereticks 
and schismaticks who, going out from her, were not 
of her. For example S. Irenaeus, a disciple of S. 
Polycarp, himself a disciple of S. John the Evan- 

' S. John V. 20. 


gelist, reproaches the Hereticks against whom he 
writes in his well-known treatise/ that they could 
neither give sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, 
cast out devils, nor raise the dead to life again, as he 
maintains was frequently done in the Church. Ter- 
tullian, a contemporary of his, writing of the here- 
ticks, asks, " I wish to see the miracles which they 
have worked." S. Pacian, in the fourth century, 
opposing Novatus, and considering his claims, 
scornfully inquires, " Has he the gift of tongues, or 
of prophecy .? Has he restored to life the dead .? " 
S. Augustine of Hippo, in numerous passages of 
his works, refers to the miracles wrought by and 
through and in the Church as most important if not 
conclusive evidence of her heavenly character and 

Again : In the middle of the fourth century oc- 
curred that most wonderful miracle, when the 
Emperor Julian deliberately attempted to rebuild 
the Temple at Jerusalem, with the express inten- 
tion of disproving the prophet Daniel's - utterance 
concerning it. Then tempests, whirlwinds, earth- 
quakes, and fiery eruptions convulsed the scene of 
the undertaking, maiming and alarming the persist- 
ent workmen, throwing down buildings in the neigh- 
bourhood, as Rufinus testifies, and rendering the 
carrying on of the work a .sheer physical impossibi- 
lity. A luminous Cross surrounded by a circle, indi- 

' Liber cont. Haer. c. xxxi. * Daniel ix. 20-27, 


eating that to the Crucified was given all power in 
heaven and earth, , and showing that the Word of 
God could never fail, nor be brought to nought by 
the vain determinations of men, appeared in the sky, 
— a portent witnessed by thousands, and testified to 
both by Pagan and Arian, as well as by Christian 

Furthermore, in the following century, another 
miracle took place at Typassus or Typasa in Africa, 
where a large congregation of Christians, being 
assembled in divine worship, in opposition to the 
decree of the Arian tyrant Hunneric, they were 
collected in the Forum, in the presence of the whole 
province, their right hands were chopped off, and 
their tongues cut out to the roots by his command ; 
yet, nevertheless they continued to speak as plainly 
and perfectly as they had done before the barbarous 
mutilation in question. 

This is vouched for by Victor, Bishop of Vite, in 
the following words : — " The king in wrath sent a 
certain count with directions to hold a meeting in 
the Forum, of the whole province, and there to cut 
out their tongues by the root, and to cut off their 

' These miraculous interventions are testified to by S. 
Gregory Nazianzen, S. Chr)-sostom, and S. Ambrose, as well 
as by Rufinus, Socrates, Sozomen, and Theodoret. They are 
also recorded by Philostorgius the Arian, and by Ammianus 
the Pagan. Bishop Warburton published a volume entitled 
" Julian " in proof of their miraculous character, and they are 
acknowledged as such by Bishop Halifax on p. 23 of his 
" Discourses." 


right hands. When this was done, they so spoke 
and speak, by the gift of the Holy Ghost, as they 
used to speak before. If, however, anyone will be 
incredulous, let him now go to Constantinople, and 
there he will find one of them, Reparatus a sub- 
deacon, speaking like an educated man without any 
impediment whatsoever. On which account he is 
regarded with exceeding great veneration in the 
court of the Emperor Zeno, and specially by the 

Now, this miracle is remarkable for various rea- 
sons. The witnesses to its authenticity are varied, 
both as to their persons and the details of their 
testimony, which testimony is both consistent and 
at one on all important and material points. More- 
over, the evidence on behalf of the miracle is very 

' Those who testify to the truth of this miracle are firstly 
a Christian prelate, Victor Vitenus, " Hist. Pers." sec. Vandal, 
iii. p. 613, whose words are translated above; the Emperor 
Justinian (who declares that he had seen some of the sufferers, 
" Codex Justin." Lib. I. Tit. xxx. Ed. 1553); the Greek histo- 
rian, Procopius of Cassarea, who asserts that their tongues were 
cut off as low down as their throat, and that he had conversed 
with them, Lib. I. " De Bell. Vand." cap. viij. and x. i. 
^neas of Gaza, a Platonic philosopher, who, having examined 
their mouths, remarked that he was not so much surprised at 
their being able to talk, as at their being able to live. He 
saw them at Constantinople. Mosheim, amongst Protestants, 
and Dodwell, the nonjuror, amongst English writers, frankly 
admit the miracle. The most lucid and exhaustive account, 
however, may be found in Section ix. of Dr. J. H, Newman's 
" Essays on Miracles," pp. 369-387 (Second edition, London, 
1870), where the ancient evidence is set forth at length. 


complete : the number of persons upon whom it 
was wrought was more than considerable ; thus, at 
the same time, increasing the occasion of valid tes- 
timony in its favour, and preventing the interposi- 
tion of what some persons term "chance." Further- 
more, the miracle is entire ; for, as Dr. Newman 
remarks, " it carried its whole case with it to every 
beholder : " it is also permanent, that is, it continued 
to indicate its effects before thousands, whose in- 
quiries, public investigations, and conclusions must 
have exercised considerable weight with those who 
were prepared to accept it.^ 

In this brief survey of the miraculous, it is impos- 
sible even to touch on the more remarkable evi- 
dences of the Supernatural as set forth in the His- 
tory of the Christian Church. Numerous miracles 
are recorded by S. Basil, S. Gregory Thauma- 
turgus, S. Athanasius, S. Jerome, S. Chrysostom, 
S. Ambrose, and S. Augustine, as well as by other 

' On this subject a volume has recently been published, 
entitled " The Tongue not Essential to Speech : with Illus- 
trations of the Power of Speech in the African Confessors." 
By the Hon. Edward Twistleton. London: 1873, This book 
has been carefully and exhaustively criticized in "The Month," 
for September, 1873. It will be sufficient here to remark that 
the modern scientific objections to this miracle, that, because 
in a certain case, by the skill of an operator, a tongue was so 
removed with marked dexterity in recent times, therefore the 
power of speech retained by the African Confessors was an 
ordinary event, are objections at once inconsequential and 


illustrious Fathers and Church Historians who 
adorned the fourth, fifth, and sixth centuries of 
the Christian era. One, however, related by both 
the last-named, by S. Ambrose and S. Augustine, 
deserves notice, because both those holy bishops 
were eye-witnesses of it. A cloth in which the 
relics of SS. Gervasius and Protasius had been 
wrapped was applied to the eyes of a blind man, 
who thereupon received his sight.^ S. Augustine 
likewise gives an account of numerous miracles 
wrought in his own diocese of Hippo, — some 
through the instrumentality of the sacred remains 
of S. Stephen, others in answer to earnest prayer : 
while three of the miracles so recorded by him 
are the raising of three dead bodies to life. 

The miracles recorded to have been wrought by 
S. Basil, S. Athanasius, S. Jerome, S. John 
Chrysostom, S. Ambrose, and S. Augustine (and, 
in this particular, he who runs may read) testify 
clearly and sufficiently to the Divine power which 
existed in the Church Universal in the times of 
those holy saints, and the rich fruits of which were 
both seen and tested by the faithful. One of the 
most remarkable was the verification of the Wood 
of the Cross, after its discovery by S. Helena, 
A.D. 326, through the convincing miracle wrought 
upon a dead man, who, on being touched by it, 
was immediately restored to life. 

' " De Civitate Dei," Lib. xxii. p. 8. 


And so soon as the Religion of Christ was brought 
to Britain by our great Apostle and Archbishop S. 
Augustine, "greater works than these" followed, 
as a matter of course, when the banner of the cross 
was unfurled upon the coasts of Kent. That this 
was so, that many miracles were wrought, we learn 
from a Letter written by S. Gregory the Great to 
S. Augustine, embodied in the well-known " His- 
tory" of the Venerable Bede, and preserved amongst 
S. Gregory's " Works," in which the Archbishop is 
duly and lovingly cautioned against becoming too 
much elated with vain glory, because of these marked 
manifestations of Divine power and favour; and is re- 
minded that God Almighty had, no doubt, bestowed 
the gift of working them, not on the Archbishop's 
own account, or for his own merit, but for the con- 
version of the English nation.^ 

So, through every succeeding age, were Glimpses 
afforded of the Supernatural. For example, S. 
Bernard, perhaps the most illustrious saint of the 
twelfth century, in the " Life of S. Malachi of 
Armagh," records the miraculous cure of the with- 
ered hand of a youth, by the dead hand of his holy 
friend S. Malachi. But nothing can exceed the 
splendour and publicity of the miracles of S. Ber- 
nard himself, — to the reality of which the faithful of 
France and Switzerland, as well as those of Ger- 
many and Italy, bore abundant testimony. Princes 

' " Epist. Sti. Greg.;" "Hist. Bed." Lib. i. c. xxxj. 


and prelates, kings and priests were witnesses of his 
supernatural power ; for, like his Lord and Master, 
he wrought instantaneous cures on the lame, the 
halt, and the blind, in the presence of multitudes, 
and to the great spread and triumph of the Faith. 
Of those worked at Cologne, Philip, Archdeacon 
of Liege, who was formally commissioned to inquire 
and report upon them by Lampeon, Archbishop 
of Rheims, declared as follows : that " they were 
not performed in a corner, but the whole city was 
•witness to them. If anyone," he adds, "doubts or 
is curious, he may easily satisfy himself on the spot, 
more especially as some of the miracles were wrought 
upon persons of no inconsiderable rank and reputa- 
tion." ^ Moreover, S. Bernard himself distinctly 
refers to them in one of his most celebrated trea- 
tises, "De Consideratione," addressed to Pope 
Eugenius IIL, and maintains that the evidence of 
God's special graces and exceptional blessings thus 
resting upon him, enabled him to feel sufficient con- 
fidence of the Divine aid and benediction to enter 
upon the grave and laborious task of preaching the 
Second Crusade. 

And if we proceed onward to the sixteenth cen- 
tury, where in some places, and especially amongst 
the northern nations of Europe, Faith began to 
wax cold, and Charity was not, we find, from His- 
tory, that the miracles of Francis Xavier, the saintly 

' Vide " Sti. Bernardi Vita," m loco, published by Mabillon. 


apostle of India, may almost vie with those of the 
great S. Bernard, for they were as numerous and 
as inherently remarkable ; while the testimony as 
to their truth, reality, and influence^ was generally 
acknowledged by the faithful, as well as by Protes- 

In truth, wherever the Catholic religion has been 
taught and accepted, wherever the Name of Jesus 
has been loved and venerated, wherever faith in the 
Unseen has been active and daring, there the Finger 
of God has sometimes been manifested. And this, 
of course, was to have been expected. Our Blessed 
Saviour's glorious and unfailing promise, that His 
disciples, with whom He pledged Himself to re- 
main unto the end of the world, should do even 
"greater works" than He Himself had wrought, 
was thus, from time to time, as man's faith merited 
God Almighty's intervention, literally and strictly 

• They were examined on the spot, by virtue of a Commission 
from John III. King of Portugal, and were generally acknow- 
ledged, not only by Europeans, but also by native Maho- 
metans and Pagans. The important and conclusive testi- 
mony of three Protestant writers— Hackluyt, Baldens, and 
Tavernier — is set forth in Bouhours' " Life of Francis Xavier," 
which our own poet, John Dryden, translated and published. 




" When a man holds up to my conscious eye the page of 
futurity ; or when, at the mandate of a mortal, I clearly per- 
ceive Nature to listen and to suspend her laws, I rationally 
conclude that such a man is indeed employed by God. 
These miraculous and prophetical tests, produced by the 
ancient seer to the Israelites, appealed to by Christ in His 
own sacred cause, and made over by Him to His ministers 
for ever in the work of conversion, have been a means to 
guide the enquiring soul to that Authority divinely-commis- 
sioned to teach the World. This power to deliver the dictates 
of the Holy Spirit, this society of continued apostles, or in 
other words, the Holy Catholic Church in every age, has 
proved by the evidence of actual miracles her possession of 
this gift presented to her by her Divine Founder." 



Ml!<^: T is allowed on all hands by Catholic 
Christians that liberty has been some- 
times permitted to the devil or his 
angels to enter into the bodies of men 
(just as of old Satan was allowed to try the patri- 
arch Job), and to obtain such an absolute command 
over their powers and faculties as to incapacitate 
them, more or less, for any of the common duties of 
life. On this point, those who accept the Written 
Word of God as a portion, and a very important 
portion, of His Divine Revelation to mankind, 
through Christ, can have no doubt. In the New 
Testament, numerous instances of possession by 
evil spirits are recorded. 

The case of the daughter of the woman of Canaan, 
who cried out to our Blessed Saviour, "Have mercy 


upon me, O Lord, Thou Son of David, my daughter 
is grievously vexed with a devil," ^ and obtained 
from Him the gracious and merciful reply, '' Be it 
unto thee even as thou wilt," is familiar to all. 

So likewise is that of the man with an unclean 
spirit, recorded in the first chapter of the Gospel 
according to S. Mark. Here the spirit acknow- 
ledging that Christ was the " Holy One of God," 
received the rebuke of Jesus Christ. " And when 
the unclean spirit had torn " the man suffering, 
" and cried with a loud voice, he came out of him. 
And they were all amazed, insomuch that they 
questioned among themselves, saying, What thing 
is this .-* What new doctrine is this .'' for with 
authority commandeth He even the unclean spirits, 
and they do obey Him." 

Again we read, " Unclean spirits, when they saw 
Him, fell down before Him, and cried saying, Thou 
art the Son of God."^ And when His apostles 
were called and formally ordained, it is written that 
they were " to have power to heal sicknesses, and 
to cast out devils," power which in due course 
both the Gospels and the recorded History of the 
Church assure us was duly exercised. 

Another miraculous intervention, by which our 
Blessed Saviour manifested His divine power over 
evil spirits, and freed suffering men from their 

' S. Matthew xv. 22-28. 

^ S. Mark iii. 11. Ibid. iii. 15, 22-30. 


frightful influence, is here given from S. Mark's 
Gospel at length : "When He was come out of the 
ship, immediately there met Him out of the tombs 
a man with an unclean spirit, who had his dwelling 
among the tombs ; and no man could bind him, no 
not with chains : because that he had often been 
bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had 
been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken 
in pieces : neither could any man tame him. And 
always, day and night, he was in the mountains 
and in the tombs, crying and cutting himself with 
stones. And when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran 
and worshipped Him, and cried with a loud voice, 
and said, What have I to do with Thee, Jesus, 
Thou Son of the Most High God ? I adjure Thee 
by God that Thou torment me not. For He said 
unto him. Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit. 
And He asked him. What is thy name } And he 
answered, saying. My name is Legion, for we are 
many. And he besought Him much that He would 
not send him away out of the country. Now there 
was nigh unto the mountains a great herd of swine 
feeding. And all the devils besought Him, saying, 
Send us into the swine, that we may enter unto 
them. And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. And 
the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the 
swine ; and the herd ran violently down a steep 
place into the sea (they were about two thousand), 
and were choked in the sea. And they that fed the 
swine fled, and told it in the city and in the country. 


And they went out to see what it was that was 
done. And they came to Jesus, and see him that 
was possessed of the devil, and had the legion, sit- 
ting and clothed and in his right mind." ^ 

With these solemn and awful facts before us, it is 
impossible to doubt either of the power or influence 
of the devil and his angels. That such power had 
been known amongst the ancient nations, and that 
certain persons had entered into compacts or 
alliances with evil spirits, seems to be generally 
admitted. And although the fact of the Incarna- 
tion had sorely crippled the influence of the enemy 
of souls, it is clear from the last promise given by 
our Lord to His apostles, " In My Name they shall 
cast out devils," that such authority and action 
would still be needed. For possessions were not to 
cease, as a reference to the Acts of the Apostles 
shows : where it is recorded that the very authority 
bestowed by our Blessed Saviour was actually and 
efficiently exercised ; and there is no reasonable 
evidence to show that such divinely-bestowed 
powers have ever ceased. All through the History 
of the Church, here and there, from time to time, as 
man needed and as God willed, such direct super- 
natural powers as those referred to, appear to have 

' S. Mark v. 2-15. See also S. Luke viii. 26-40. Instances 
of such power bestowed and exercised over unclean or deaf 
and dumb spirits may be found in the following : — S. Mark 
vi. 13 ; vii. 25-30; ix. 17-29. S. Luke iv. 33-37 ; ix. 38-42 ; 
xi. 14-26. Acts V. 12, 16 ; xvi. 16-18 ; xix. 13-20; xxviii. 3-6. 


been put into operation. For the Church can bless 
and the Church can curse. The Church can bind 
and can loose. She can commend to the protec- 
tion of God Almighty and His holy angels, and she 
can deliver over to Satan. She can bestow light 
and peace on her true and faithful children, and 
send out the disobedient and impenitent beyond 
the consecrated confines of her spiritual powers and 
graces. As effects of Christ's most gracious pro- 
mise, such ordinary and extraordinary works were 
wrought ; for the glory of His great Name, and as 
a testimony of the truth of the Church Universal. 

For generations, up to the very earliest age of 
Christianity, there have been officers of the Church 
duly set apart and ordained for the particular work 
of exorcism. Amongst the minor orders of Western 
Christendom the exorcist has always found a place ; 
and although, in later years, this special work, 
when undertaken, has been more frequently done 
by persons in the higher or sacred orders, yet the 
very office itself, and its title, as well as the exist- 
ing forms for casting out evil spirits, abundantly 
attest the Church's divine and spiritual powers. 

In countries which are specially and eminently 
Christian, where churches, sanctuaries, and religious 
houses are numerous ; where, by the road-side and 
on the hill-top, stand the signs and symbols of the 
Faith of Christendom ; where the Sacrament of 
Baptism is shed upon so many ; where post-bap- 
tismal sin is remitted by those who have authority 


and jurisdiction to bind and loose in the Name of 
their Master ; and where the Blessed Sacrament of 
the Altar, God manifest in the Flesh, reposing in 
the tabernacle, or borne in triumph through aisle 
and street and garden, hallows and feeds the faith- 
ful — there the power and influence of the Evil One 
is circumscribed and weakened. Sacred oil for 
unction, and holy water and the life-giving power 
of the Cross, and the relics of the beatified as well 
as of the favoured and crowned servants of the 
Crucified, make the devils flee away, and efficiently 
curb their power. Hence it is found that in coun- 
tries where the CathoHc Faith has been halved or 
rejected. Superstition has taken the place of the 
first theological virtue, Faith ; and the Prince of the 
Powers of the air comes back again with his evil 
and malignant spirits to vex mankind anew,^ and 
mar and stay the final triumph of Him to Whom 
all power is given in heaven and in earth. 

A remarkable case of the Supernatural will here 
be put on record, which occurred in the diocese of 
Exeter during the seventeenth century. Prelimi- 

' One of the most distinguished physicians in London 
recently assured the Editor that, in his judgment, numerous 
peculiar and remarkable cases both of epilepsy and madness 
could only be duly and rationally accounted for by the 
Christian theory of possession ; and he himself declared that 
if the Church's spiritual powers on the one hand, and the 
virtue of faith on the other, were more commonly put into 
practice than they are, many cures, by God's blessing, might 
be looked for. 


nary inquiries and comments concerning the various 
incidents would be obviously out of place ; for the 
well-authenticated story itself is unfolded Avith a 
simplicity and yet with a power which efficiently 
serve to stamp it as true. 

"About 152 years since," writes Mr. Fortescue 
Hitchins, in his "History of Cornwall," "a ghost 
is said to have made its appearance in this parish ' 
(Little Petherick -), in a field about half a mile from 
Botaden or Botathen (in that county). In the nar- 
rative which is given of this occurrence, it is said 
to have been seen by a son of Mr. Bligh, aged 
about sixteen, by his father and mother, and by 
the Rev. John Ruddle, master of the grammar 
school of Launceston, and one of the prebendaries 
of Exeter, and vicar of Alternon. The relation 
given by Mr. Ruddle is in substance as follows : — 

" Young Mr. Bligh, a lad of bright parts and of 
no common attainments, became on a sudden pen- 
sive, dejected, and melancholy. His friends ob- 
serving the change, without being able to discover 
the cause, attributed his behaviour to laziness — an 
aversion to school — or to some other motive which 
they suspected he was ashamed to discover. He 
was, however, induced after some time to inform 
his brother that in a field through which he passed 

' "The History of Cornwall," by Fortescue Hitchins, Esq., 
in 2 vols. 4to. Helston, 1824. Vol. ii. pp. 548-51- 

'•^ The parish of Little Petherick is si.\ miles north of S. 
Colunib, and three due south from Padstow. 


to and from school he was invariably met by the 
apparition of a woman whom he personally knew 
while living-, and who had been dead about eight 
years. Ridicule, threats, and persuasions were 
alike used in vain by the family to induce him to 
dismiss these absurd ideas. Mr. Ruddle was how- 
ever sent for, to whom the lad ingenuously commu- 
nicated the time, manner, and frequency of this 
appearance. It was in a field called 'Higher 
Bloomfield.' The apparition, he said, appeared 
dressed in female attire, met him two or three 
times while he passed through the field, glided 
hastily by him, but never spoke. He had thus 
been occasionally met about two months before he 
took any particular notice of it : at length the 
appearance became more frequent, meeting him 
both morning and evening, but always in the same 
field, yet invariably moving out of the path when 
it came close by him. He often spoke, but could 
never get any reply. To avoid this unwelcome 
visitor he forsook the field, and went to school 
and returned from it through a lane, in which place 
between the quarry-park and nursery it always 
met him. 

" Unable to disbelieve the evidence of his senses, 
or to obtain credit with any of his family, he pre- 
vailed upon Mr. Ruddle to accompany him to the 
place. 'I arose,' says this clergyman, 'the next 
morning, and went with him. The field to which 
he led me I guessed to be about twenty acres, in an 


open country, and about three furlongs from any 
house. We went into the field, and had not gone 
a third part before the spectrinn, in the shape of a 
woman, with all the circumstances that he had 
described the day before, so far as the suddenness 
of its appearance and transition would permit me 
to discover, passed by. 

" ' I was a little impressed at it, and, though I 
had taken up a firm resolution to speak to it, I 
had not the power, nor durst I look back ; yet 
I took care not to show any fear to my pupil and 
guide ; and therefore, telling him that I was satis- 
fied in the truth of his statement, we walked to the 
end of the field, and returned : nor did the ghost 
meet us that time but once. 

" ' On the 27th July, I went to the haunted field 
by myself, and walked the breadth of it without 
any encounter. I then returned, and took the other 
walk, and then the spectre appeared to me, when 
about the same place in which I saw it when the 
young gentleman was with me. It appeared to 
move swifter than before, and seemed to me about 
ten feet from me on my right hand, insomuch that 
I had not time to speak to it as I had determined 
with myself beforehand. The evening of this day 
the parents, the son, and myself being in the cham- 
ber where I lay, I proposed to them our going to 
the place next morning ; we accordingly met at the 
stile we had appointed ; thence we all four walked 
into the field together. We had not gone more 


than half the field before the ghost made its appear- 
ance. It then came over the stile just before us, 
and moved with such rapidity, that by the time it 
had gone six or seven steps, it passed by. I 
immediately turned my head and ran after it, with 
the young man by my side. We saw it pass over 
the stile at which we entered, and no farther. I 
stepped upon the hedge at one place, and the young 
man at another, but we could discern nothing ; 
whereas I do aver that the swiftest horse in Eng- 
land could not have conveyed himself out of sight 
in that short space of time. Two things I observed 
in this day's appearance ; first a spaniel dog, which 
had followed the company unregarded, barked and 
ran away as the spectrum passed by : whence it is 
easy to conclude that it was not our fear and fancy 
which made the apparition ; secondly the motion 
of the spectrum was not gradatim or by steps, or 
moving of the feet, but by a kind of gliding, as 
children upon ice, or as a boat down a river, which 
practically answers the description the ancients 
p-ive of the motion of these lemures. This ocular 
evidence clearly convinced, but withal strangely 
affrighted, the old gentleman and his wife. They 
all knew this woman, Dorothy Durant, in her life- 
time ; were at her burial : and now plainly saw her 
features in this apparition, 

" ' The next morning being Thursday, I went 
very early by myself, and walked for about one 
hour's space in meditation and prayer, in the field 


next adjoining. Soon after five I stepped over the 
stile into the haunted field, and had not gone above 
thirty or forty paces before the ghost appeared at 
the further stile. I spoke to it in some short 
sentences, with a loud voice, whereupon it ap- 
proached me but slowly, and, when I came near, 
it moved not. I spoke again, and it answered in a 
voice neither audible nor very intelligible. I was 
not in the least terrified, and thereupon persisted 
until it spoke again, and gave me satisfaction ; but 
the work could not be finished at this time. Where- 
upon the same evening, an hour after sunset, it met 
me again near the same place, and after a few 
words on each side it quietly vanished, and neither 
doth appear now, nor hath appeared since, nor ever 
will move to any man's disturbance. The discourse 
in the morning lasted about a quarter of an hour. 

" ' These things are true, and I know them to be 
so, with as much certainty as eyes and ears can give 
me ; and until I can be persuaded that my senses 
all deceive me about their proper objects, and by 
that persuasion deprive myself of the strongest in- 
ducement to believe in Christian Religion, I must 
and will assert that the things contained in this 
paper are true. As for the manner of my proceed- 
ing, I have no reason to be ashamed of it. I can 
justify it to men of good principles, discretion, and 
recondite learning, though in this case I chose to 
content myself in the assurance of the thing, rather 
than be at the unprofitable trouble to persuade 


others to believe it, for I know full well with what 
difficulty relations of so uncommon a nature and 
practice obtain belief.' " 

So much as regards the record of th-e appearance 
found in the volume already referred to. 

The following extract from Mr. Ruddle's MS. 
Diary, was taken by the Rev. R. S. Hawker, M.A., 
vicar of Morwenstow, the accomplished and well- 
known Christian poet, and appears in his interesting 
"Footprints of Former Men in Far Cornwall" 
(London, 1870), and still further amplifies and 
illustrates this story, the practical and eventual 
issue of which is now to be recorded : — 

"January 7, 1665. At my own house I find by 
my books what is expedient to be done ; and then 
Apage Sathanas ! 

"January 9, 1665. This day I took leave of my 
wife and family, under pretext of engagements else- 
where, and made my secret journey to our diocesan 
city, wherein the good and venerable bishop then 

"January 10. 'Deo gratias,' in safe arrival at 
Exeter : craved and obtained immediate audience 
of his lordship ; pleading it was for counsel and 
admonition on a weighty and pressing cause. 
Called to the presence ; made obeisance ; and then, 
by command, stated my case, the Botathen per- 
plexity — which I moved with strong and earnest 

' Bishop Seth Ward, D. D.— Editor. 


instances and solemn asseverations of that which I 
had myself seen and heard. Demanded by his lord- 
ship, what was the succour that I had come to entreat 
at his hands ? Replied, license for my exorcism, 
that so I might, ministerially, allay this spiritual 
visitant, and thus render to the living and the dead 
release from this surprise. 

" ' But,' said our bishop, ' on what authority do 
you allege that I am entrusted with faculty so to 
do .'' Our Church, as is well known, hath abjured 
certain branches of her ancient power, on grounds 
of perversion and abuse,' 

" ' Nay, my Lord,' I humbly answered, * under 
favour, the seventy-second of the Canons* ratified 
and enjoined on us, the clergy. Anno Domini 1604, 
doth expressly provide that No minister, unless he 
hath the license of his dioeesan bishop, shall essay to 
exorcise a spirit, evil or good. Therefore it was,' 
I did here mildly allege, ' that I did not presume to 
enter on such a work without lawful privilege under 
your lordship's hand and seal.' 

" Hereupon did our wise and learned bishop, sit- 
ting in his chair, condescend upon the theme at some 
length, with many gracious interpretations from 

' " No minister or ministers shall without the 

license and direction {inaiidatntn) of the Bishop 

attempt upon any pretence whatsoever either of possession or 
obsession, by fasting or prayer, to cast out any devil or devils, 
under pain of the imputation of imposture or cosenage, and 
deposition from the ministry." — Canons of 1604, No. 72. 



ancient writers and from Holy Scripture, and did 
humbly rejoin and reply ; till the upshot was that 
he did call in his secretary and command him to 
draw the aforesaid faculty forthwith and without 
further delay, assigning him a form, insomuch that 
the matter was incontinently done, and after I had 
disbursed into the secretary's hands certain moneys, 
for signitary purposes, as the manner of such officers 
hath always been, the Bishop did himself affix his 
signature under the sigillum of his see, and deliver 
the document into my hands. 

" When I knelt down to receive his benediction, 
he softly said, ' Let it be secret, Mr. Rudall, — weak 
brethren ! weak brethren ! ' " 

Some details from the same Diary as to the exact 
manner in which the ghost was laid give an ad- 
ditional interest to the narrative. 

"January I2th, 1665. Rode into the gateway of 
Botathen, armed at all points, but not with Saul's 
armour, and ready. There is danger from the 
demons, but so there is in the surrounding air every- 
day. At early morning then and alone, for so the 
usage ordains, I betook me towards the field. It 
was void, and I had thereby due time to prepare. 
First I paced and measured out my circle on the 
grass. Then did I mark my pentacle in the very 
midst, and at the intersection of the five angles I 
did set up and fix my crutch of raun [rowan]. Lastly 
I took my station south, at the true line of the 
meridian, and stood facing due north. I waited and 


watched for a long time. At last there was a kind 
of trouble in the air, a soft and rippling sound, and 
all at once the shape appeared, and came on towards 
me gradually. I opened my parchment scroll, and 
read aloud the command. She paused and seemed 
to waver and doubt ; stood still : and then I 
rehearsed the sentence again, sounding out every 
syllable like a chant. She drew near my ring, but 
halted at first outside, on the brink. I sounded 
again, and now at the third time I gave the signal 
in Syriac — the speech which is used, they say, 
where such ones dwell and converse in thoughts that 

" She was at last obedient and swam into the 
midst of the circle : and there stood still suddenly. 
I saw, moreover, that she drew back her pointing 
hand. All this while I do confess that my knees 
shook under me, and the drops of sweat ran down 
my flesh like rain. But now, although face to face 
with the spirit, my heart grew calm and my mind 
composed, to know that the pentacle would govern 
her, and the ring must bind until I gave the word. 
Then I called to mind the rule laid down of old 
that no angel or fiend, no spirit, good or evil, will 
ever speak until they be spoken to. N.B. — This is 
the great law of prayer. God Himself will not yield 
reply until man hath made vocal entreaty once and 
again. So I went on to demand, as the books 
advise ; and the phantom made answer willingly. 
Questioned, wherefore not at rest .-* Unquiet 


because of a certain sin. Asked what and by whom ? 
Revealed it ; but it is S2ib sigillo, and therefore 
nefas dictn ; more anon. Inquired, what sign she 
could give me that she was a true spirit and not a 
false fiend .-' Stated [that] before next Yule-tide 
a fearful pestilence would lay waste the land ;^ 
and myriads of souls would be loosened from 
their flesh, until, as she piteously said, ' Our 
valleys will be full' Asked again, why she so 
terrified the lad .'' Replied, ' It is the law ; we must 
seek a youth or a maiden of clean life, and under 
age, to receive messages and admonitions.' We 
conversed with many more words ; but it is not 
lawful for me to set them down. Pen and ink 
would degrade and defile the thoughts she uttered, 
and which my mind received that day. I broke the 
ring and she passed, but to return once more next 
day. At evensong a long discourse with that 
ancient transgressor, Mr. B — . Great horror and 
remorse ; entire atonement and penance ; what- 

' Mr. Hawker quotes from the Diary of Mr. Ruddle for 
July loth, 1665, the following triumphant entry : — " How 
sorely must the infidels and hereticks of this generation be 
dismayed when they know that this Black Death, which is 
now swallowing its thousands in the streets of the great city 
[London] was foretold six months agone, under the exorcisms 
of a country minister, by a visible and suppliant ghost ! And 
what pleasures and improvements do such deny themselves 
who scorn and avoid all opportunity of intercourse with souls 
separate, and the spirits, glad and sorrowful, which inhabit 
the unseen world." — pp. 123-4. 


soever I enjoin ; full acknowledgment before par- 

"January 13, 1665. At sunrise I was again in the 
field. She came in at once, and, as it seemed, with 
freedom. Inquired if she knew my thoughts, and 
what I was going to relate .'' Answered, ' Nay, we only 
know what we perceive and hear : we cannot see 
the heart.' Then I rehearsed the penitent words of 
the man she had come up to denounce, and the 
satisfaction he would perform. Then said she, 
' Peace in our midst.' I went through the proper 
forms of dismissal, and fulfilled all, as it was set 
down and written in my memoranda ; and then 
with certain fixed rites, I did dismiss that troubled 
ghost, until she peacefully withdrew, gliding towards 
the west. Neither did she ever afterwards appear; 
but was allayed, until she shall come in her second 
flesh, to the Valley of Armageddon on the Last 

Another example, giving with singular power and 
effect a very striking Glimpse of the Supernatural, 
from the experiences of a venerated and exemplary 
Roman Catholic clergyman, the late Rev. Edward 
Peach, of S. Chad's, Birmingham, is here given at 
length. The events narrated occurred in the year 
18 1 5, and Mr. Peach deliberately afiirmed of the 
following account that it " may be relied on in every 
particnlar as being strictly truer " I," he continues, 
in a formal record of the successful exorcism, "was 
the minister of God employed on the occasion; and 


truth is more to me than all the boastings of pride 
and vain glory." 

The authentic record stands as follows : — 
" Some time after Easter, in the year 1815, I was 
informed that a young married woman of the name 
of White, in the parish of King's Norton, Worcester- 
shire, a Protestant, was afflicted with an extraordi- 
nary kind of illness, and that her relations, who 
occupied a small farm, were convinced that her ill- 
ness arose solely from the malice of a rejected 
admirer, who, they said, had employed the assist- 
ance of a reputed wizard at Dudley to do her a 
mischief These were their terms. I paid but little 
attention to this story. Afterwards I was informed 
by a sister who frequents our markets, and supplies 
with butter a respectable family of my congregation, 
Mr. Powell, Suffolk Street, that the young woman 
was married in the beginning of the preceding 
Lent ; that her former admirer repeatedly declared 
that, if she did marry any other, she should never 
have another happy day; that the day after her 
marriage she was seized with an extraordinary kind 
of mental complaint ; that she became suddenly 
delirious ; that she raved, and declared that a mul- 
titude of infernal spirits surrounded her ; that they 
threatened to carry her away ; that she must go 
with them. The poor sister informed my friend, 
with tears streaming down her cheeks, that she 
continued in that state, day and night, for nearly 
two months, and that the whole family were almost 


exhausted with the fatigue of constantly attending 
her, for, she said, they could not leave her alone, 
lest she should put her threats of destroying herself 
into execution. 

" At the end of about two months, according to 
the relation of the same sister, the poor creature 
was so spent that her medical attendant (who, 
during the whole time of his attendance, declared 
that her illness arose more from a mental than 
corporeal cause,) declared that, in all probability, 
she could not survive four-and-twenty hours. The 
clergyman of the parish was called in to assist her 
in her last moments ; but he found her in a state 
not to be benefited by his assistance, and he de- 

"Amongst the neighbours who came to make a 
tender of their good offices for the relief of the 
afflicted family was a Catholic woman. Her offers 
were accepted, and she was frequently with her. 
Finding her reduced almost to a state of inanition, 
and hearing her speak of these infernal spirits every 
time she opened her lips, the thought came into her 
mind of applying to her some holy water. She 
accordingly procured some, dipped her finger into 
it, and made the sign of the cross upon her fore- 
head. Instantly the poor sufferer started, and, in 
a faint voice, exclaimed, ' You have scalded me.' 
However, she leaned upon the bosom of her atten- 
dant, and, what she had not done for a considerable 
time before, she fell into a gentle sleep. On awaking. 


she continued to hold the same language as before. 
The Catholic put a little holy water into her mouth. 
But the very instant it entered her mouth she 
seemed to be in a state of suffocation. She and the 
others who were with her were alarmed, and ex- 
pected that every instant would be her last. In a 
short time, however, she swallowed it, and after 
many convulsive struggles she regained her breath, 
and exclaimed with violence, 'You have scalded 
my throat, you have scalded my throat.' In a few 
minutes she fell again into a comfortable sleep, and 
continued so for some hours. The next morning 
she appeared refreshed, and spoke reasonably for a 
short time. Being informed of what had been ap- 
plied to her, she seemed to wish for more. The 
swallowing was attended with the same sensation 
of scalding, and the same convulsive struggles as 
before ; but it seemed to give her ease. From that 
time the danger of death seemed to decrease by 
degrees. She enjoyed lucid intervals from time to 
time; and invariably after the application of holy 
water, although attended with the same sensations 
as before, she fell into a slumber. 

" One remarkable circumstance deserves notice. 
In one of her paroxysms, she insisted on getting up, 
and going out of doors. She said that there was a 
large snake in front of the house, that she would go 
and kill it, and then one of her enemies would be 
removed. Nothing would satisfy her, till this same 
sister, who gave the account, assured her that she 


would go down and kill it. She went down, and, to 
her great astonishment, found a large snake, and 
succeeded in destroying it. 

" This in substance is the account which the sister 
gave of Mrs. White's extraordinary illness. At the 
same time it was asked whether I could be of any 
assistance to her, or whether it was probable that I 
could be prevailed on to go and see her } My 
friend who related to me the whole of the above 
account, asked me to go. I replied that I knew 
nothing of them, nor they of me ; but that if she 
would walk over, and examine into the state of the 
poor woman, I would go, if there appeared to her 
to be any probability of my being of service. She 
went, and, on her return, she informed me that all 
she had heard seemed to be true, and assured me 
that all the family were desirous of seeing me, and 
particularly the young woman herself. 

" However, I still delayed, till at length, on 
Tuesday in Rogation Week, May 2nd, 18 15, a 
special messenger came over to inform me that 
Mrs. White was in a worse state than ever, and to 
request me to go and see her without delay. 

" I obeyed the call, and I may say with truth 
that it was the most awful visit I ever made durincr 


the whole course of my ministry. The distance was 
about six miles. No sooner had I cleared the skirts 
of the town than I heard the distant thunder before 
me. Before I had proceeded two miles, the storm 
was nearly over my head ; and I may say the 


remainder of my walk, and during the time I was 
with her, there was hardly cessation of one minute 
between the claps of thunder. I do not say that in 
this there was anything supernatural, but, knowing 
the business I was upon, it was truly awful. 

" When I arrived at the house, I was informed 
that she was in a dreadful state, and that the 
strength of two persons was necessary to keep her 
in bed. I went up-stairs, and on entering into the 
room, before she saw me, the curtains being drawn 
on the side where I entered, she turned to the other 
side of the bed, and struggled so violently to get 
away that it was with difficulty that her husband 
and two women overpowered her. In a few 
minutes, before she had lifted up her eyes to see 
me (for she had turned her face downwards) she 
stretched out her hand to me, in a convulsive 
manner, and fell speechless and spent upon her 

"After a time she opened her eyes, and in a faint 
whisper, answered a question that was put to her, 
and said she knew who I was. She revived by de- 
grees, and in a short time could speak in an audible 
voice. Her friends having requested me to try if I 
could discover what it was that weighed most upon 
her mind, for they said they had tried to no pur- 
pose, I requested them to withdraw. Being alone, 
she related to me, as far as she could recollect, the 
circumstances of her illness, and I found that they 
corresponded exactly with the accounts given by 


her sister, I questioned her as to the cause, but I 
could not discover that it was owing to anything 
weighing heavy on her mind. She was positive, 
she said, that it was the young man who had 
done her a mischief. 

" I then proceeded to explain to her some of the 
articles of the Catholic Faith. She listened with 
every attention ; and when I assured her that she 
must believe the Holy Catholic Church before she 
could obtain relief, she, without hesitation, declared 
that she did believe, and that she believed from the 
moment she knew what holy water was, and expe- 
rienced its effects. From the time it was first ap- 
plied, she said that the devils seemed to keep at 
a greater distance from her, and that the number 
seemed to be diminished. 

" Such were the ideas on her mind at the time. 
She was convinced, she said, that it was not the 
effect of imagination — that she was not delirious — 
that she knew everything that was said to her, and 
that she could recollect everything that had passed. 
I asked her to tell me where the holy water was. 
Her voice immediately faltered ; and with every 
endeavour, I perceived that she could not point out 
with her finger, nor tell me by words where it was. 
She was like an infant attempting to point out an 

" I looked about and found it. I dipped my finger 
into it, and made the sign of the cross on her fore- 
head. She started as soon as I touched her, and 


was a little convulsed. I asked her what was the 
matter. For a few moments she could not articu- 
late ; but as soon as she could speak, she said that 
it scalded her. 

"After a little more conversation, I desired her 
to join with me in repeating the Lord's Prayer. 
She consented, and without difficulty repeated the 
first words. But when we came to the petitions, 
her voice faltered ; she was labouring for breath, 
and appeared to be almost suffocated : her counte- 
nance and limbs were convulsed. The greatest 
stammerer could not find greater difficulty in pro- 
nouncing words than she did in pronouncing every 
word of the petitions. At one time I was inclined 
to desist, thinking that it was impossible for her to 
finish it ; but we laboured on, and at length came 
to the end. 

"After a short pause, she again began to con- 
verse with a free voice, without the least faltering. 
I explained to her the nature of exorcisms, and 
proposed to read them over her. She consented, 
and said that she would endeavour to offer up her 
prayers to God during the time in the best manner 
she could. As soon as I began the exorcisms, she 
fell into a state of convulsive agitation, not indeed 
endeavouring to get away ; but every limb, every 
joint seemed to be agitated and convulsed, even 
her countenance was distorted, — it required con- 
stant attention to keep her covered. 

" Now it was that I felt in a particular manner 


the awful situation in which I was. All alone with 
a person in a distressed condition, — the lightning 
flashing, the thunder rolling, and I with an impera- 
tive voice commanding the evil spirit to reply to 
my interrogatories, and to go forth from her. I 
acknowledge that my flesh began to creep and my 
hair to stand on end. However, I proceeded on till 
I came to the conclusion, and nothing happened 
except the violent agitation of the poor sufferer, 
which continued uninterrupted during the whole 

"After I had finished, she became calm, and in a 
few minutes began to converse with me with the 
same ease as before. Among other things, I asked 
her whether she had felt any particular sensations 
during the time that I was coming to see her .'' 
She said that during the whole afternoon she had 
felt the most determined resolution to destroy her- 
self ; that she employed every means to induce her 
friends to leave the room, or to make her escape 
from them ; and that if she had succeeded, she 
would have laid violent hands on herself the moment 
she was at liberty. I explained to her the nature 
of baptism, the necessity of receiving it, and the 
effects produced by it. 

" During the course of our conversation, discover- 
ing that there were strong reasons to doubt whe- 
ther she had been baptized at all, or whether the 
essential rites had been observed in her baptism, I 
conceived that it would be advisable to re-baptize 


her conditionally. I proposed it, and she readily 
consented. I gave her what instructions were 
necessary, and repeated several acts of contrition. 
Finding her in dispositions the most satisfactory, I 
made use of the holy water, and baptized her, sub- 
ject to the condition, if she was not baptised. Dur- 
ing the time she trembled like a leaf, and the fea- 
tures of her countenance were distorted, like those 
of a person in acute pain. Upon my putting the 
question to her, she replied as she did before, that 
it gave her as much pain as if boiling water had 
been poured over her. 

" Immediately after the ceremony was concluded, 
she began to speak to me with all the cheerfulness 
of a person in perfect health and spirits. We con- 
versed together for a few minutes, and I took my 
leave, promising to see her again the next day. 
Her sister went to her, and her first request was 
that she might have a cup of tea and something to 
eat ; and before I left the house, she eat and drank 
as she had done before her affliction. I went to 
see her the next day, and found her down-stairs in 
perfect health ; at least, no effects of her illness were 
perceptible, except a weakness of body. From 
that time to this, she has enjoyed good health, and 
not the least symptom of her former complaint 
has been felt. It is more than a twelvemonth 

A second example of successful exorcism, now 
to be narrated, is from the pen of an eminent and 


well-known clergyman^ of the Church of England, 
whose literary labours in the early part of the 
Oxford movement, were recognized and rewarded 
by high authority in the English Church. Only 
a slight verbal alteration here and there to make 
the narrative of itself quite intelligible, has been 
made by the Editor. 

" The subject is almost too' sacred for pen ; and 

' In tlie act of exorcism, of course it is not necessary that 
the exorcist be a clergyman, in other words, in holy orders. 
An "exorcist" technically so called, when formally ordained, 
is only in " minor " and not in " holy " or " sacred orders." 
Any Christian layman, with faith and a hearty desire and 
readiness to abide by the rules of the Church, can perform 
the act of exorcism, if no duly-ordained exorcist can be had ; 
just as a layman (in the absence of a priest), can validly 
baptize. By baptism the "old man" is cast out, and the 
work of regeneration formally effected. By exorcism, some 
evil spirit or devil is expelled from a person possessed, in the 
Name of our Adorable Redeemer, Who triumphed over death 
and hell, and Who delegated Divine powers to the Church 
which He instituted. " It belongs to an exorcist," writes a 
distinguished Western divine, " by exorcisms to deliver ener- 
gumens and catechumens from the vexations of demons. — 
" Axioms concerning the Sacraments," No. Ixviii. of Augus- 
tinus Hunnajus. On this point, the same theologian, sometime 
Professor of Theology at Lou vain, writes thus : — " In adults 
catechism, whereby the doctrine of faith is delivered, ought 
to precede baptism ; but exorcism, whereby evil spirits are 
expelled, and the senses opened to the perception of the 
mysteries of Salvation, ought to precede catechism. Both, as 
Tvell catcchisiii as exorcism, pcrtai)t to the office of a priest j 
but in catechizing he uses the ministry of a reader : in ex- 
orcism that of an exorcist P — "Axioms concerning the Sacra- 
ments," No. xii. 


I only put it on record to show the goodness of 
God, and to indicate that His powers are not with- 
drawn, nor His Arm shortened. It is some years, 
however, since the event to be related happened ; 
and the subject of it has long gone to his last 
account. I must scrupulously refrain from any indi- 
cation of place and person ; though, in these latter 
days of rude and coarse unbelief, when such inter- 
positions of the Almighty's mercy are laughed to 
scorn, some may find comfort and edification from 
its recital. 

"The son of a farmer, who had just come of age, 
having heard a sermon of mine, which I had 
preached some five years previously, came a dis- 
tance of more than thirty miles to seek at my hands 
ghostly counsel. From his childhood he had been 
led to indulge in breaches of the seventh command- 
ment, and these after a while were certainly of a 
heinous character. He believed himself (when I saw 
him) to be possessed by an unclean spirit. Wher- 
ever he went, he asserted that he saw a hideous 
black figure, darkly draped, with a form like a 
man, but with the face of a beast, sitting opposite 
to, huddled up, and staring at him. It would 
appear for weeks together, at home, abroad, in his 
sleeping-room, in the field, in the market. Some- 
times he would throw himself on to the floor in an 
agony of distraction, and pray God that it might 
be removed. For a short term he would cease to 
see it. But in due course it reappeared. And at 


last (an event which had never happened hitherto,) 
it would likewise haunt him in dreams. On one 
occasion he declared that it seemed to elongate 
itself into a long serpent-like figure, and, as he 
asserted, tried to creep down his throat. But wher- 
ever he went he almost always saw it. Thinking 
it might be the result of bodily ailment he consulted 
a physician ; but with no effect. 

" I am free to say that I was not long in coming 
to a conclusion, that it was a case of possession ; 
though I did not arrive at that conclusion until I 
had taken counsel from one of the most pious and 
holy clergymen I ever knew,^ and had commended 
the subject to God Almighty in very earnest prayer. 

" The result was that I unfolded to the subject 
of this apparition my intention, with God's help, and 
his own sanction, to cast out the spirit, according to 
the old rule and custom of Holy Church. Prior to 
this he made a full and frank confession of his whole 
life, and resolved by God's help to amend. Having 
made an appointment, a fortnight hence, with him, 
and being resolved to consecrate my proposed act, 
by special deeds of fasting, self-denial, and prayer, 
I was alarmed to hear, by letter, of his most serious 
illness a few days later. His relations asserted that 
he was suffering from epilepsy, and that the fits 
were rapid and most severe. 

' This clergyman, whose name the Editor is not at liberty 
to mention, is known to many to be " a discerner of spirits." 
He is now a dignitary of the English Church in the colonies. 



" The following day, taking with me a book con- 
taining an authorized form of exorcism, i went to 
see the sick man. His sufferings seemed to be ex- 
cruciating : his fits shocking to witness. At a half- 
lucid interval he saw me ; and, starting from his 
bed, tried to throw himself out of the window. 
When he was calmer, I knelt down and prayed for 
him with his relations ; making several times an 
act of Faith. 

" Then signing him with the cross on forehead, 
mouth, and breast, I began the authorized form 
During this, his fits returned ; and his violence and 
ravings were terrible to witness. Throughout I felt 
sustained in my action by a Higher Power, and 
completed my task in the Name of the Adorable 
and Ever-Blessed Trinity. Here he sank into a 
deep sleep ; and this sleep proved to be the begin- 
ning of a complete change for the better. The fits 
ceased, the body was no longer tortured with writh- 
ings ; and, as I heard from him afterwards, the 
hideous vision or apparition vanished, and was never 
seen again. A few years afterwards he died, as I 
believe in grace ; and, as I commended his soul to 
God, so I committed his body to the dust ; and have 
always looked upon this remarkable event as a 
token, to myself most unworthy, of the Almighty's 
power and Presence amongst us, as well as of His 
exceeding great mercy and goodness to this poor 

Another remarkable instance of the active and 


energizing powers of the Church of God, unim- 
paired and uncrippled, may be gathered from the 
record which follo^vs of the sudden and effectual 
cure of Fran^oise-Genevieve- Philippe, which took 
place in the church of the Carmelites of Pontoise 
on the i6th of July, 1784, upon the Festival of Our 
Lady of Mount Carmel. The record below is a 
literal translation of the formal act and deed of the 
person cured : — 

" I, the undersigned Francoise-Genevieve-Philippe, 
called in religion ' Sister Josephine-Mary of the 
Incarnation,' aged thirty years, declare that my 
health being disordered at Pontoise, where I resided 
with the Ursuline Dames for eleven years, I was 
advised to make a change of air ; I consequently 
withdrew to the Dames of the Congregation of 
Trouvelle-les-Vernon, where I entered on the i6th 
of February, 1782. My health continued bad in 
consequence of the frequent attacks of hsemorrhage 
to which I became subject. 

" On the 29th of December following I was 
seized with a violent headache, beginning with a 
swoon, which lasted more than two hours, and with 
a frightful haemorrhage. Suitable remedies were 
instantly administered to me by skilful physicians, 
but in vain ; and after this I was attacked with 
convulsions, and the entire suspension of all motion 
in my body. 

" Different consultations were held at Paris ; 
MM. Fume and Petit sent me prescriptions which 


produced no effect. This sickness continued until 
the 13th of May, 1783, when I was removed into 
the town of my uncle's. All these facts have been 
attested by the physicians and surgeons of Vernon, 
by the testimony of M. Atadie, physician to his 
Serene Highness the Duke of Penthievre, and of 
M. le Noble, physician, who had employed mag- 
netism, but without effect. These certificates, duly 
legalized by M. le Lieutenant-General of the same 
town, attest that my disorder was deemed so vio- 
lent and incurable to the period when I decided 
upon returning to Pontoise, hoping to recover my 
health by the means which it might please God to 
employ. I arrived there on the 5 th of August, 
1783 ; from that time my condition was precisely 
the same, namely habitual convulsions. I was 
deprived of the use of my limbs, particularly of my 
right arm, in which the convulsions were so violent 
that it was found necessary to fix and tie it with a 
bandage. The left was not much better, for on 
merely touching it, or on a change of weather, it 
experienced similar convulsions. Added to this I 
was attacked violently with gout, which I felt all 
over my body, but especially in my head and the 
extremities of my fingers. I was subject to pains 
in my breast and stomach, so severe as to occasion 
me to spit blood and to vomit up even the most 
hquid of my food. Sleep, of which I had in gene- 
ral but little till this period, now became, as it were, 
a stranger to me. My voice was for a month or 


six weeks almost extinct, and there was not a part 
of my body which was not in a state of suffering ; 
the least noise became almost insupportable. 

" It is moreover to be remarked, that I never 
discovered, although always valetudinary, what 
could be capable of occasioning such a malady. 
This is a testimony I offer to truth. The persons 
who could not be ignorant of what concerned their 
patient have made the same depositions.' 

" Such was my condition wheTi they were pro- 
ceeding at Pontoise, by order of the Holy See, in 
the process of the beatification of the servant of 
God, Marie de I'lncarnation, whose name in the 
world was Madame Acarie, foundress of the Car- 
melites in France, who, having edified the World 
by the virtues which characterize great souls, and 
consecrated at Carmel three of her daughters, her- 
self embraced this holy state under the humble 
quality of converse-sister in the Convent of Car- 
melites at Amiens, and died at that of Pontoise in 
the odour of sanctity on the i8th of April, 1618, 
aged fifty-two years. 

" The fame of this process revived my faith, I 
made a Novena to her, in which the Carmelites, as 
well as many other pious persons, united. I not 
only, during this Novena, took -no medicines, but I 

' " The same has been attested to myself by M. Denison, 
nephew to the celebrated Morand, whom I saw at that time 
at Maubuisson-lcs-Pontoise. He ran the same career as his 
uncle, and was also distinguished for his merit. F. G. P." 


told my physician : ' Perhaps, sir, you will smile at 
me when I tell you that I am performing a Novena 
to the venerable Sister Marie de I'lncarnation, and 
that I hope to-morrow to be taken to her tomb ! ' 
' I commend your piety,' said he, ' to make a 
Novena to that blessed person, but I do not 
equally commend the step which you propose to 
take ; I fear that none but bad consequences will 
result from it.' I replied, as I had done to many 
other of my friends, ' that I had the firmest con- 
fidence of a cure.' 

" I persevered constantly in this moral and phy- 
sical disposition until the moment when I wa5s 
carried in a sedan chair into the church of the 
Carmelites. I was brought there at five o'clock in 
the morning. I heard mass, and communicated 
without quitting my chair. Towards the moment 
of elevation I felt severe pains throughout my 
whole frame, and seemed to myself to be in such a 
state of weakness that I then thought if I were to 
be communicated it would have been for the last 
time. A cold sweat spread itself at that time over 
my whole body. The priest who gave me the Holy 
Sacrament noticed that I was so weak that I could 
not hold the cloth upon my knees. He was so 
much afraid from the paleness of my countenance 
and the alteration he perceived in me, that in fear 
of some accident he put the sacred ciborium 
almost close to my lips. 

" Finding me in this painful state, which an- 


nounced rather a speedy dissolution than a cure, I 
formed acts of submission to the Will of God. I 
begged Him to accept the sacrifice of my life ; 
I also thrice made the prayer of the blind man, 
* Son of David, have mercy on me ; ' the while in- 
teriorly, having lost my power of articulation. I 
remained in that state till the end of the mass, and 
finding my strength recovering I called my nurse, 
and begged her to go and see if the chapel in 
which the precious remains of the Venerable Sister 
Marie de I'lncarnation were deposited was open, 
having the design to be carried there. But O 
bounty and mercy of the Lord ! at the very mo- 
ment the people were preparing I quitted the chair 
myself; my nurse came hastily upon me to stop 
me, imagining that this movement was a last effort 
of nature. I corrected her, saying that I thanked 
her, but that thanks be to God ! I had no need of 
her help, and instantly after, on the steps of the altar, 
returned thanks after communion ; for I did not as 
yet perceive the change that was made in me. I 
was not sensible of it till after having made my 
thanksgiving, which was near a quarter of an hour 
after. I then raised myself from the ground filled 
with joy and consolation, finding I had recovered 
the use of my limbs ; my breast and stomach at ease 
and devoid of pain, enjoying tranquillity altogether 
wonderful. I first ascended the seven steps of the 
altar ; and then went to the grate of the choir and 
thanked the community for the pra}'ers that they 


had the goodness to offer up for me ; requesting 
them to add still further their thanks to mine. I 
then turned towards the Blessed Sacrament, where 
I remained on my knees on the ground without 
any support during the period of three masses, 
which were said in succession. I afterwards heard 
high mass, and assisted at the entire Office of the 
Day, without the noise of chaunting, of the instru- 
ments, nor the great concourse of people, occasion- 
ing me the slightest inconvenience. Although I 
had to answer in the course of the day to more 
than four thousand persons attracted by the 
novelty of the circumstance to the church of the 
Carmelites, on the afternoon of the same day I 
went on foot to visit the Ursuline Dames. 

" Done at Compiegne on the I2th of Feb. 1792. 
(Signed) " Fran^oise-Genevieve-Philippe, 

"Called in religion 'Sr. Josephine of 
the Incarnation,' Religious Car- 
melite of the Monastery of the 
City of Compiegne, in which I 
had the happiness to enter on 
the 20th of December, 1786, and 
to pronounce my holy and in- 
violable engagements on the 22nd 
of July, 1788." 
Another point bearing very directly on the sub- 
ject of this chapter here suggests itself for some 
brief consideration : — 

Deeds of benediction have been so universally 


recognized in history, that it may be credibly main- 
tained that the custom originated in the earhest 
ages of the World's existence, either by a direct 
revelation from Heaven or by the most elementary 
religious instinct of the immediate descendants of 
our first parents. The heads of tribes, after the 
Flood, blessed their children and followers. And, 
when the Patriarchal dispensation drew towards its 
close, the power of blessing was exercised by the 
leaders and chiefs of God's chosen people. Proof 
of all this is on record in the Sacred Writings. He, 
therefore, who runs may read. And we may gather 
from the same source that a form of blessing was 
attached to the priest's office ;^ and that such bless- 
ing was efficient. All this is of course taken for 
granted under the Christian dispensation ; and it is 
evident that the various forms of sacerdotal bene- 
diction are true means of bestowing the Divine 
blessing and grace : and this, because of the salient 
principle that the Fall of man from original righte- 
ousness, having effected a loss of union with God 
Almighty, salvation is the renewal of that union by 
and through Jesus Christ and His Church. Now, 
a Blessing, in the Name of God, is bestowed by a 
superior upon an inferior.- Thus a bishop gives his 
benediction to a priest, deacon, or layman ; a priest 
to a layman ; a father or head of a family to a son 

" Deut. X. 8 ; Numb. vi. 22-26, a form which the Christian 
Church has adopted and retained. 
' Heb. vii. 7. 


or an inferior member of that same family ; a pa- 
triarch or chieftain to his tribe, or to any member 
of it. The blessing of God is a great and mighty 
gift of grace, and has always been intimately con- 
joined with the offering of sacrifice, and so parti- 
cularly and specifically with the offering of the 
Christian sacrifice, as also with and by a bene- 
diction, some of the most solemn services of Holy 
Church have been brought to an end. 

Of course, if there be a power to bless, there is, 
as has already been pointed out, likewise a power 
to curse. Neither blessing nor curse may be abso- 
lute in their effect, and all acts and deeds are done 
under God, or with the permission of the Almighty. 
Of the results respectively of blessings or curses we 
know but little. But the glimpses which History, 
Revealed Religion, and Experience alike afford of 
those results are 'full of interest, and are subjects for 
contemplation and study. Here, as in the con- 
sideration of similar details, concerning the Super- 
natural, the Church Universal should be our guide. 
Where she leads we should go : where she directs 
we should follow. 

As bearing on this subject, it may be suitably 
pointed out that Mr. Robert Southey in his " Com- 
mon-Place Book " puts on record a very remarkable 
story of "citation" by a man unjustly and cruelly 
murdered : — 

" The Philipsons of Colgarth coveted a field like 
Ahab, and had the possessor hung for an offence 


which he had not committed. The night before 
his execution the old man (for he was very old) 
read the 109th Psalm as his solemn and dying 
commination, verses 2, 3, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 
and 16." The verses contain a prayer for ven- 
geance upon " the wicked and deceitful, who 
have spoken with a lying tongue," and whose days 
are to be few, and their children to be fatherless, 
their descendants continually vagabonds and beg- 
gars, and their posterity to be cut off. " The 
curse," Southey adds, " was fully accomplished ; 
the family were cut off, and the only daughter 
who remained sold laces and bobbins about the 

Two remarkable and, as may be well believed, 
supernatural events occurred (which may be fittingly 
recorded here) with regard to the cruel and shame- 
ful death of Edmund Arrowsmith, a Roman Catholic 
priest of the county of Lancaster, in the year 1628. 
He was born at Haddock in the parish of Winwick, 
five miles from Warrington and seven from Wigan. 
His father was Robert Arrowsmith, a yeoman, and 
his mother Margaret Gerard, of the ancient and 
noble family of that name. His immediate an- 
cestors had suffered much for their religion. Ed- 
mund, their son, having been received into the 
College at Douay in 1605, was eventually ordained 
priest at Arras on December 9th, 16 12. A year 
afterwards he was sent to England to minister to 
his fellow religionists. One of his flock beiner 


exasperated against him because he refused to 
marry him to his first cousin and had rebuked him 
for evil-living, informed against him to the vigilant 
authorities ; and Arrowsmith, being apprehended, 
was sent to Lancaster Castle, "for not having taken 
the oaths, and upon vehement suspicion that he was 
a priest and a Jesuit." The judge on circuit was 
Sir Henry Yelverton. 

"Are you a priest, sir?" asked the judge, when 
the accused person was brought before him. 

Arrowsmith, signing himself with the cross, re- 
plied, " My lord, I would to God I were worthy." 

On the judge repeating the question Arrowsmith 
replied coolly, " I would I were." 

When the accused, in reply to a minister on the 
bench, suggested a disputation regarding religion, 
and claimed to defend his Faith, the judge silenced 
him at once, and declared that he would not allow 
him to make any defence at all. 

" I am ready, my lord, bear in mind," rephed 
Arrowsmith, " not only to defend it in words, but 
in deeds, and to seal it with my blood." 

The judge then told him, in an insulting and 
savage manner, that he should die, and see his 
bowels burnt before his very face. 

" And you too must die, my lord, and that within 
a year."^ 

' Another version of this conversation gives the report as 
follows : " And should I die unjustly and undeservedly, my 
lord, in that case, you, my lord, shall soon die too, and 


Two indictments were framed against him : one 
for being a priest and a Jesuit, and the other for 
disparaging Protestantism; on these he was found 
guilty of high treason, and ordered to die according 
to the law. To the gaoler of the prison, the sheriff 
brought express commands from the judge to load 
him with the heaviest irons in the Castle, and to 
lodge him in a small cell where he could not lie 
down. This occurred on the 26th of August, 1628, 
and he suffered death on the 28th of the same month. 
He was dragged on a hurdle from the Castle to the 
place of execution, having received absolution from 
a fellow prisoner, Mr. Southworth, in the Castle yard. 
He was bound on the hurdle, and for greater igno- 
miny with his head to the horse's tail. The gallows 
and boiling caldron were set up about a quarter of 
a mile distant from the Castle. The devotion and 
piety of this holy and zealous man were as remark- 
able as his constancy and fortitude, — graces which 
edified those who witnessed his sad end. He offered 
himself up as a sacrifice thrice : once upon his knees 
at the foot of the ladder, again on the ladder, which 
he kissed, and a third time just before the halter 
was fastened round his neck ; and then prayed 
fervently, " O Sweet Jesus, I freely offer Thee my 
death, in satisfaction for my sins." Then he was 
cast off, suffered to hang until he was dead — an act 

follow me ; yea within the compass of a year." - MS. Letter 
of Very Rev. Dr. Hiisenbeth. 


of mercy, by no means ordinary or common — cut 
down, disembowelled, and quartered ; his head being 
placed on a pole amongst the pinnacles of the Castle. 
It is recorded that the judge being vexed and 
annoyed with the clever and luminous answers 
which Arrowsmith made when under examination, 
in the hearing of so many, appeared to take a special 
pleasure in viewing the execution from his lodgings, 
through a perspective glass ; that he had the curios- 
ity to examine the four quarters of his body, which, 
by his command, being brought to his apartment, 
he made an unnatural and shocking comparison be- 
tween them and a haunch or two of venison with 
which he had that day been presented ; and that he 
deliberately kicked the right hand of the body in 
contempt. On leaving the town he ordered the 
martyr's head to be placed on a pole six yards 
higher than the pinnacles of the Castle. 

The judge, sitting at supper at an inn on January 
23, 1629, upon return from circuit, felt a heavy 
blow, as if someone had struck him on the back 
of the head ; upon which he fell into a violent 
rage with, and severely rated, the servant who was 
waiting upon him ; who protested that he had not 
struck him, nor did he see anyone strike him. A 
little while afterwards, the judge felt another blow 
like the first ; and, as some records say, a third just 
as the meal was being ended. The blows he himself 
evidently thought to have come from the hand of 
divine justice, for he exclaimed in fear and trepida- 


tion : " That dog Arrowsmith hath killed me."^ 
In great terror he was carried to bed, and dying 
the next morning, the prophecy of the holy priest 
regarding his death was exactly fulfilled. 

As regards the Hand of the sufferer, it was pro- 
cured and treasured up by his relatives the Gerards : 
and the following remarkable occurrence is con- 
nected with it. 

In the year 18 13 a young man named Joseph 
Lamb, then residing at Eccles, near Trafiford Hall, 
about four miles from Manchester, fell from a rick 
of considerable height to the ground, and received 
a violent injury in the back. He was so injured 
that he could neither stand nor walk and suffered 
very considerable pain ; but after many attempts 
had been made by physicians to give him relief and 
effect a cure, his case at a later stage was unani- 
mously pronounced to be incurable. In religion he 
was a Roman Catholic, having been converted to 
that ancient faith from being an Anabaptist — a sect 
to which his father still belonged. Local circum- 
stances had led to his investigating the martyrdom 
of the venerable priest, Edmund Arrowsmith, who, 
as already recounted, gave up his life in the cause 
of God at Lancaster, on the 28th of August, 1628. 
Of this holy man a Hand had been long and 
carefully preserved at Sir William Gerard's, of 

' " That dead dog Arrowsmith " stands in another version 
of this portion of the narrative. — Editor. 


Garswood, near Wigan, where it was and is deser- 
vedly venerated and held in respect by all Roman 
Catholics. The sufferer Lamb, finding that the 
skill and power of man could do nothing for him, 
conceived a firm conviction that it would please the 
Almighty to restore him to health by the instru- 
mentality of this relic, and he consequently most 
earnestly and systematically prayed to God that it 
might be so. His parents consequently, in response 
to his urgent entreaties, on October 2nd, 1 8 14, had him 
conveyed in a covered cart from his own house near 
Trafford Hall to Garswood, a distance of fourteen 
miles.^ In a state of considerable suffering, and quite 
unable to assist himself, he was lifted out of the cart 
and carried into the Roman Catholic chapel, where 
he was placed before the altar. Then the " Holy 
Hand," as it is termed, was brought forth ; the 
sacred sign of the cross was solemnly made over 
the affected part of the poor suffering man's back ; 
when, in an instant, he felt freedom from pain and 
found his former health and strength perfectly 
restored. He immediately rose, stood up for some 
time in prayer, and then walked, without any assist- 

' They went in company with Thomas Cutler and EHzabeth 
Dooley. The above facts were formally authenticated by the 
parents of Lamb, as also by the Rev. Thomas Sadler, of 
Trafford, near Manchester ; and the Rev. J. Craythorne, of 
Garswood. A friend who resides in Lancashire informs the 
Editor that this miracle is firmly believed by thousands 
(A.D. 1873). 


ance whatsoever, to his relatives and friends who 
were gathered at the chief entrance of the chapel. 
He returned home quite recovered and perfectly 
well, and so remained, up to the 19th of September, 
1816.^ The result of this miraculous intervention 
was that several of his kinsmen and acquaintances 
became converts to the religion which he had elected 
to follow; and these, together with many Roman 
Catholics who became acquainted with Almighty 
God's merciful visitation of him, joined in a solemn 
act of thanksgiving, by assembling to sing the Te 
Deiwi in the chapel of Garswood.- 

Thus, then, we see the prophecy of a Christian 
priest, who was unjustly and illegally condemned 
and cruelly murdered, exactly and most strikingly 
fulfilled ; and a wonderful sign bestowed from God 
to man of Eternal Truth, in the supernatural cure 
wrought some two centuries and more afterwards 
upon this Lancashire farm-labourer. 

Here something may be properly put on record, 

' It was on this day that formal and sufficient testimonies 
were put into writing of the fact of the cure narrated above ; 
and duly signed by those who from their own personal know- 
ledge could testify to the truth of the same. 

' The event recorded above, Arrowsmith's sufferings and 
death, and its details are taken from Dod's "Church History," 
Challoner's " Memoirs of Missionary Priests," vol. ii. pp. 130- 
146; a "Relation of the Death of E. Arrowsmith," pub- 
lished A.D. 1630; a Latin MS. of his life, preserv-ed at Douay; 
and special traditional information given to the Editor by the 
late Very Rev. Dr. Husenbeth, Provost of Northampton. 



regarding cases in which visible marks and tokens 
of the Passion of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ 
have been supernaturally and miraculously im- 
pressed upon God's saints and servants, in order to 
set forth before the eyes of man, as a matter of 
sight and not as a matter oi faith, the truth of the 
Revelation of Almighty God, through His Son 
Jesus Christ our Lord. 

The first recorded instance of stigmatization is 
that of S. Francis of Assisi, in the thirteenth cen- 
tury. From the life of this distinguished saint, 
written by S. Bonaventure (chapters xii. and xv.), 
we gather the following particulars of these remark- 
able phenomena. 

It was the custom of the saint, from time to time, 
to retire into the solitudes of Mount Alverna, in the 
Apennines, in order the more easily to give himself 
up to prayer and meditation. " While fasting there 
for forty days, being in prayer, on the Feast of the 
Exaltation of the Holy Cross, and feeling within 
his soul an intense desire to be crucified with his 
Lord, he beheld, descending from heaven towards 
him, a seraph, having six wings as it were of fire.^ 
When the celestial messenger came near to him, 
there appeared between the wings the form of One 
crucified, with the hands and feet stretched out 
upon the cross. Two wings rose above the head. 

1 This wonderful mystery is frequently represented in 
Christian Art, both with beauty and effect. 


two were spread forth in flight, while the others 
veiled the whole body." Francis felt a great joy at 
the apparition, and yet, at the same time, a deep 
sorrow at beholding Him Whom his soul loved, so 
cruelly fastened to the Cross, the thought of which 
pierced his heart as with a sword of grief It was 
presently revealed to him that he was to imitate 
the Passion of our Lord. 

" The vision disappearing, his soul was filled with 
heavenly light, while a marvellous sign was left 
imprinted on his limbs. On his hand and feet were 
the marks of the nails, as he had beheld in the 
seraphic vision, and on his right side was a wound, 
as if made by a lance's thrust. His hands and feet 
appeared transfixed with the nails, their heads 
being seen in the upper part of the feet, and the 
points on the reverse sides. The heads of these 
nails were round and black, and the points some- 
what long and bent, as if turned back ; so that 
between them and the skin there was the space of 
a finger. They could be moved with ease ; for on 
the one side they were embedded in the flesh, 
whilst on the other they were clear of it : yet it was 
not possible to draw them out, as we are assured 
by S. Clare, who, after the saint's death, essayed 
to do so, but could not succeed. The wound in 
the side was deep, and of the width of three fingers. 
It was red, and the saint's habit was often stained 
by the blood which flowed from it." 

These stigmata were seen during his life b}' the 


reigning Pope Alexander with many of his car- 
dinals ; and after his death, by more than fifty 
brethren together, by S. Clare and many of her 
sisters, and an innumerable crowd of seculars, who 
came from all parts of the country to be witnesses 
of these wonders. 

At the close of the seventeenth century, another 
case of stigmatization occurred to Veronica Juliana, 
a nun ; and her examination by the bishop of her 
diocese, aided by several physicians, was of so strict 
and severe a character, that deception on her part 
would have been quite impossible. 

In the early part of the same century, Joanna di 
Jesu Maria, a Spanish nun, was subjected to even 
a more rigorous examination, before a court com- 
posed of the Commissary of the Inquisition, the 
Suffragan Bishop, several of the secular and regular 
clergy of the district, of many learned men, and 
two distinguished physicians. In this case, the 
subject of the phenomena bore not only the wounds 
on her hands, feet, and side, from which blood and 
water frequently flowed, but also around her head, 
as from the crown of thorns, a deep wound, which, 
in the opinion of the doctors, penetrated to the 
skull. They, furthermore, declared by oath that 
the wounds were not natural, and could not pos- 
sibly be the effect of fraud. 

The most celebrated subjects of stigmata in our 
own days are Maria Mori, the Ecstatica of Cal- 
damo, in the Tyrol, and Maria Domenica Lazzari, 


a peasant girl of Capriana, whose cases were brought 
before the English public by that late distinguished 
nobleman John, Earl of Shrewsbury, A. L. M. P. 
De Lisle, Esq.,^ the Rev. T. W. Allies, and others. 
The following account of Maria Mori is abridged 
from that of Gorres, in his work on the Super- 
natural, entitled " Christliche Mystik," which, per- 
haps, is the most complete and detailed description 
published. After giving a brief sketch of her life, 
which tells us that she was a girl of great piety, 
also that at the age of eighteen she became a con- 
firmed invalid, and after receiving Holy Commu- 
nion she always remained in an ecstasy for several 
hours, we read, that "in the autumn of 1833, her 
Confessor, Father Capistran, had by chance noticed 
that the parts of her hands where the wounds after- 
wards appeared had begun to form in hollows, as 
though impressed by some external substance, the 
parts, at the same time, becoming the seat of con- 
siderable pain, accompanied by frequent cramps." 
Soon afterwards, the wounds appeared on the 
hands, feet, and side. On Thursdays and Fridays 
these places often ran with clear blood, and were 
covered on other days with a scar of dried blood, 
without showing any signs of inflammation. " In 
1834, on the occasion of a solemn procession, a new 

' See a rare and remarkable pamphlet, by Mr. De Lisle, 
with etchings by J. R. Herbert, R.A., now out of print, con- 
taining an account of his visit to the subject of this miracul- 
ous occurrence. London : Dolman, 1841. 


phase of her ecstasy developed itself, and one day 
surprised her in the presence of several witnesses, 
when she was transfigured with an angelic beauty, 
radiant and glorious as a heavenly spirit, her arms 
extended to their extreme width in the form of a 
cross, and her feet barely seeming to touch the bed 
on which she reposed. All around could then 
plainly perceive the mysterious stigmata, and the 
matter could no longer remain a secret." 

Of Maria Domenica Lazzari, who was born March 
1 6th, 1815, and whose case is no less remarkable 
than the above, Mr. Allies, then a clergyman of the 
Church of England, wrote the following account, 
twenty-five years ago : — " In August, 1833, she had 
an illness, not in the first instance of an extraordi- 
nary nature ; but it took the form of an intermittent 
fever, confining her completely to her bed, and 
finally contracting the nerves of her hands and feet 
so as to cripple them. On the loth of January, 1834, 
she received on her hands, feet, and left side, the 

marks of our Lord's Five Wounds Three 

weeks afterwards, her family found her in the morn- 
ing covering her face in a state of great delight, — 
a sort of trance. On removing the handkerchief, 
letters were found on it marked in blood, and 
Domenica's brow had a complete impression of the 
crown of thorns, in a line of small punctures about 
a quarter of an inch apart, from which the blood 
was flowing freshly. They asked her who had torn 
her so. She replied, ' A very fair lady had come 


in the night and adorned her.' . . . From the time 
that she first received the stigmata, in January, 
1834, to the present time (account published in 
1847), the wounds have bled every Friday, with a 
loss of from one to two ounces of blood, beginning 
early in the morning, and on Friday only. The 
above information (Mr. Allies declares) we received 
from Signor Yoris, a surgeon of Cavalese, the chief 
village of the district in which Capriana lies." 

Two additional and quite recent examples of 
stigmatization, most perfectly and satisfactorily 
authenticated, demand to have the facts which are 
known and admitted here set forth. The first is as 
follows : — 

On the 30th January, 1850, was born at Bois 
d'Haine, a village in the province of Hainaut, in 
Belgium, Anne Louise Lateau, the daughter of 
Gregory and Adele Lateau. The family, though 
of humble condition, were at the time in tolerably 
comfortable circumstances. The father was em- 
ployed as a workman in a neighbouring metal fac- 
tory, and the cottage in which they dwelt, together 
with the land on which it stood, was their own pro- 
perty. But a sad change soon took place. On the 
30th April, 1850, Gregory Lateau died of small-pox, 
leaving the mother and three children (the infant 
Louise and two little girls of two and three years of 
age) unprovided for. To add to their distress, the 
widow Lateau was seriously ill, and the infant had 
caught the small-pox. Abandoned by all, they 


were in danger of perishing of starvation had they 
not been reheved by the timely aid of a charitable 
neighbour. It was a long time, however, before the 
mother's health was sufficiently restored to enable 
her to better their condition by her own exertions. 
When eight years old, Louise was sent to take 
charge of an old woman confined to her bed, and 
almost as poor as themselves. She afterwards re- 
ceived five months' schooling, which is all the edu- 
cation she has ever had. At eleven years old, 
having made her first communion, she went as a 
servant to her aunt, with whom she remained until 
her death, which occurred two years later. Her 
next situation was with a lady at Brussels, but she 
was obliged to leave through illness. On her re- 
covery, she was again employed in a farm at 
Manage, where she remained till called home by 
her mother, with whom she has since lived, working 
as a dressmaker. With regard to her moral char- 
acter, one of its most important features is charity. 
During the ravages of* the cholera in Belgium, in 
1866, she gave examples of the most heroic devoted- 
ness — nursing the sick when their own relations had 
fled in dismay, laying out the dead, and, in some 
instances, even conveying them to the cemetery. 
For the rest, she is of a cheerful disposition, simple 
and straightforward in her manner, possessed of 
good sense, without smartness or enthusiasm. 
Owing to the small amount of instruction she has 
received, her education is limited, but has been 


much improved by her own exertions. She speaks 
French with tolerable fluency, but is unable to 
write correctly or read with ease. The mother of 
Louise is fifty-eight years of age, of a frank and 
outspoken character, upright and religious. Though 
poor, she refuses to receive any pecuniary assist- 
ance, and manifests great reluctance to the intro- 
duction of the numerous visitors attracted to her 
cottage from all parts of the world by the wonder- 
ful accounts respecting her daughter. We now 
come to the consideration of those phenomena 
which for nearly six years have been exciting such 
universal interest. On Friday, the 24th April, 1868, 
manifestations of an extraordinary character com- 
menced with a flow of blood from the chest. The 
young girl, with her accustomed resei-ve, made no 
mention of the fact ; but as on successive Fridays 
the bleeding extended to the feet and hands, con- 
cealment became no longer possible. The phe- 
nomenon, as it now appears, is thus described by 
Dr. Lefebvre :— 

" If in the course of the week, from Saturday to 
Thursday morning, an inspection is made of the 
parts from which blood flows on the Friday, this is 
what is seen : — On the back of each hand there is a 
rather oval surface, nearly one inch in length. It 
is rather more pink in colour, and it is smoother 
than the neighbouring skin, and does not show a 
trace of oozing of any kind. On the palm of each 
hand there is also an oval surface of a light pink, 


colour, corresponding precisely to the stigmatized 
surface of the back. On the upper aspect of each 
foot, the impress has the shape of a long square 
with rounded angles, the square being a little more 
than an inch long. To conclude, there are on the 
soles of the feet, as on the palms of the hands, small 
surfaces of pinkish white colour. 

" . . . . The first symptoms indicative of the ap- 
proaching efflux of blood occur on the Thursday, 
generally about noon. On each of the pink sur- 
faces already described on the hands and feet, a 
vesicle is seen to commence, and to rise little by 
little. When completely developed, it is a rounded 
hemispherical prominence on the surface of the 
skin ; its base is the same size as the pink surface 
on which it rests — that is, nearly an inch long, 
by a little more than half an inch broad. This 
vesicle is formed by the epidermis detached from 
the dermis, and elevated as a half sphere by serous 
liquid within." 

We again quote some of the medical details : — 
" The phenomenon occurs thus : — The vesicle 
bursts, and the contained serosity escapes. This 
occurs in different ways — sometimes by a rent 
lengthways, sometimes by a crucial or a triangular 
division. In the last case, the rupture of the vesicle 
suggests the puncture of a leech ; but this is a mere 
resemblance, to prove which it is enough to ascer- 
tain the entire absence on the hands and feet of 
those three-cornered white and indelible scars which 


always follow leech-bites. But a still more decisive 
observation is that this triangular rent only divides 
the epidermis; in fact, if this be removed by rubbing 
with a cloth, the little wound is no longer seen, and 
the true skin is found to be quite intact. Directly 
after the rupture of the vesicle and the escape of the 
fluid, blood begins to ooze from the bare derma. 

" The flow of blood always detaches the piece of 
scarf-skin that makes the vesicle, so that the bleed- 
ing surface of the true skin is quite bare ; some- 
times, however — and especially on the palms of the 
hands and the soles of the feet, where the epidermis 
is very tough — the blood collects, and forms a clot 
in the partly-torn vesicle." ^ 

1 The following is the full title of the volume from which 
the above narrative and the extracts given are taken : — 
" Louise Lateau of Bois d'Haine, her Life, her Ecstasies, and 
her Stigmata." A medical study, by Dr. F. Lefebvre. Trans- 
lated from the French. Edited by Rev. J. Spencer North- 
cote, D.D., President of S. Mary's College, Oscott. To 
which the following explanatory note may be added : — The 
name of Dr. Lefebvre is sufficient guarantee of the import- 
ance of any work coming from his pen. During twenty 
years that he has filled the chair of General Pathology and 
Therapeutics in the University of Louvain he has gained 
a world-wide reputation by his investigations in the wide and, 
to a great extent, unexplored field of medical research. Add 
to this moral cjualities of the first order, and ardent zeal in the 
cause of religion, and we have a character which commands 
our admiration and esteem in the highest degree. The book, 
translated into English under the superintendence of Dr. 
Northcote, is a medical inquiry into the case of Louise 
Lateau, the Belgian stigmatizata. The medical features of 


The general appearance of the wound in the side 
on Friday is as follows : — The blood issues from 
three small points of a triangular form at the dis- 
tance of half an inch from each other. A vesicle 
has also been observed similar to those upon the 
hands and feet. On its bursting, the blood flowed 
through the derma or thick skin over a round sur- 
face of the diameter of about half an inch. 

The bleeding on the forehead commenced on 
Friday, the 25th September, 1868, and, at the pre- 
sent time,^ takes place every week, and has extended 
round the whole of the head. The bleeding circlet 
on the forehead forms a band of two fingers' breadth 
in width, and the blood oozes from twelve or fifteen 
points. There is no appearance of vesicle, nor is 
the skin discoloured. 

The second extraordinary account of a young 
girl, who is now marked with the stigmata, is 
furnished by the Rev. F. Prendergast, of San 
Francisco : ^ — 

the case are all that Dr. Lefebvre proposes to treat, leaving, 
of course, to the proper ecclesiastical authorities the theo- 
logical investigation. An abridged account of this case has 
been published, entitled " Louise Lateau, the Ecstatica of 
Bois d'Haine," by Dr. Lefebvre, translated from the French 
by J. S. Shepard. London : Richardson and Son. 1872. 

' This account was written in 1874. 

' Affidavits of the truth of the above narrative have been 
made by the physician and clergyman who witnessed the 
miraculous intervention, as also by the person more imme- 
diately concerned — Miss Collins. 


" Miss Collins was born in England ; both her 
parents are Roman Catholics. About two years 
and a half ago she was a pupil at the Convent of 
Notre Dame. On her return to this city she left 
her father's home, and with a friend, Miss Armer, 
commenced the practice of charitable acts — visiting 
the sick, clothing the destitute, and instructing 
little children. Many of the charitable persons of 
the city co-operate with Miss Collins, Miss Armer, 
and an elderly lady who keeps house for them, in 
their good works. The archbishop approved of 
this semi-religious order, and has paid the house 
rent of these ladies since they began this practice. 
Miss Collins has always been in delicate health, 
and has frequently received the last sacraments of 
the Church, given to those in a dying condition. 
She has had periodical attacks of heart disease, 
and intense pulmonary congestion. Soon after 
Miss Collins and Miss Armer entered upon their 
charitable and self-denying duties, the former was 
prostrated by a return of her complaint. She 
recovered but slowly and imperfectly, and on 
January 2nd, at the children's festival in the base- 
ment of S. INIary's Cathedral, she was seized with a 
most violent attack. She was taken to her resi- 
dence ; and two or three days afterwards was again 
seized with congestion of the lungs, followed by 
congestion of the brain. The attending physician, 
herself, and all her friends were convinced that 
there was no hope of her recovery. She took leave 


of those who stood by her bedside, and made her 
final preparations for death. On Wednesday, 
January 8th, she was all day in convulsions. . . . 
Towards six o'clock she grew bettei", but on the 
night of the third day became speechless, and was 
compelled to write her wants and wishes in pencil. 

" At twelve o'clock that night, Miss Armer and 
the nurse, who watched by her bedside, believed 
her to be dying, if not dead. They recited the 
prayers for the departing soul, and held the blessed 
candle by her hand, according to the custom of the 
Church. Presently Miss Collins closed her eyes 
and drew a long breath. They then believed her 
to be dead ; but to their utter amazement and 
bewilderment she revived, and made signs that she 
wished to write. They gave her the pencil and 
paper, and she wrote as follows : ' Put three drops 
of the water from the font of Our Lady of La 
Salette in my mouth, and say three Hail Maries 
with me before the crucifix.' They complied with 
the instructions, and perceived that she joined 
mentally in the recital of the prayers. As soon as 
ended, she reached out her hands for the crucifix, 
and kissed, with an expression of great devotion, 
the Five Wounds of our Blessed Saviour. She then 
intimated that she wished to have a little water. 
They gave her some, and she immediately rose up 
and declared, with a beaming and heavenly coun- 
tenance, that she was cured ; and she called on her 
companions, Miss Armer and the nurse, to join her 


in saying the rosary for the sick. She wished to 
recite the principal parts of the devotion herself, 
but yielding to the request of Miss Armer, only 
made the responses in a clear and loud voice. She 
then requested her companions to retire, but seeing 
they had some objections, told them she would set 
the example. She laid down quietly, and slept 
without motion or sign till morning, when she ate 
heartily, and seemed quite restored to health. 
Since then she has never for a moment suffered 
from any of those diseases to which she had been 
before a victim, and which had more than once 
brought her to death's door. 

" On being questioned about her recovery, she 
stated to her confessor, her companions, and others 
of her friends, that immediately previous to her 
recovery the Blessed Virgin spoke to her in a 
voice clear and musical, but as if it were coming 
from afar, directing her what to do in order to 
obtain her health, approving her manner of life, 
and giving her some counsels for her own guidance. 
Her recovery was regarded by all conversant Avith 
the facts as being a miraculous one ; and, contrasting 
her subsequent excellent health with her former 
miserable condition, there seems to be no reason to 
doubt but that she was saved by the merciful inter- 
position of the Supreme Power of God. 

" After some weeks she experienced, without 
any assignable natural cause, an intense pain in 
her temples, which caused her indescribable 


anguish. These sufferings suddenly passed away, 
but in the course of some days returned with equal 
violence. So far there were no perceptible marks 
on any portion of her body, but during her suffer- 
ings on the Feast of the Five Wounds of our Lord 
she felt an acute pain in her head, her side, in both 
hands, and in both feet. On the Friday before 
Good Friday, the Feast of the Seven Sorrows of 
the Blessed Virgin, she experienced pains in the 
same parts, and on that day the stigmata, or 
marks of our Saviour's Wounds, became clearly 
visible on the backs of her hands, and blood oozed 
from her left side, near the heart. 

" Several persons witnessed the stigmata on this 
occasion, but were loth to reveal the fact, preferring 
to await further developments. That night the 
pains passed away, and her usual health returned. 
On Holy Thursday the same sufferings were ex- 
perienced, commencing in the afternoon and becom- 
ing very intense during Thursday night. On Friday 
the stigmata appeared on the surfaces of both 
hands and on the upper surface of both feet. Blood 
also oozed from her side. During the day her 
sufferings were indescribable, and were witnessed 
by a large number of people.^ The stigmata and 

' Among the spectators were the following : Mr. R. Tobin 
and family, Mr. John Sullivan and wife, Mr. C. D. O'Sullivan 
and wife, Mr. J. A. Donahue and wife, Mr. George Hooper 
and wife, Mrs. Emmet Doyle, Mr. D. J. Oliver, and many 
others. Dr. Polactri was standing by Miss CoUins's bedside, 


suffering continued unabated until twelve o'clock on 
Friday night, when she suddenly experienced some 
relief, and was able, for the first time in twenty-four 
hours, to take a little water. On the next day she at- 
tended divine service in church, and has since been in 
the enjoyment of excellent health. The marks of the 
stigmata remain on her hands and side. She has 
never, at any time during her sufferings, been un- 
conscious, except when they were so intense as to 
cause momentary delirium. She prayed continually, 
and her countenance, ordinarily indicating extreme 
agony, occasionally relaxed into a sweet and 
heavenly smile. At times her hands were extended 
in the form of a crucifix, and became so rigid in 
that position that it was impossible to move them.''^ 
As serving still further to illustrate the subject of 
this chapter, it should be known that Dr. John 
Milner, F.S.A., Vicar Apostolic of the Midland 
District of England (a prelate eminent both for his 
high character and great literary ability), records a 

taking notes on the condition of the patient. He confessed 
the case was beyond the reach of medical science. Her 
head moved from side to side with the intensity of her agony, 
and her tongue was parched and swollen. 

' Mr. D. J. Oliver writes from San Francisco, in a private 
letter, as follows : " I was awe-stricken whilst beholding the 
miracle. I know both the young girls, and the account is 
correct in every particular, except that the stigmata was on 
both sides of the hands and feet, and not on one side only. 
I spent an hour with them last evening, and saw them at 
communion at early mass this morning." 



supernatural cure, the subject of which was per- 
sonally known to himself. 

" On March 15,1 809, Mary Wood, living at Taun- 
ton Lodge, near Taunton, in Somersetshire, in 
attempting to open a sash-window, pushed her left 
hand through a pane of glass, which caused a very 
large and deep transverse wound in the inside of the 
left arm, and divided the muscles and nearly the 
whole of the tendons that lead to the hand ; from 
which accident she not only suffered at times the 
most acute pain, but was, from the period the bishop 
saw her [March 15, 1809], until some time in July, 
totally deprived of the use of her hand and arm." ^ 
What passed between the latter end of July, when, 
as the surgeon states, " he left his patient with no 
hope of her recovery or of restoring her," until the 
6th of August, on the night of which she was 
miraculously cured, can be gathered from a Letter 
to Bishop Milner, dated November 19th, 1809, by her 
amanuensis Miss Maria Hornyold, of the ancient 
family of that name : 

"The surgeon gave little or no hopes of the girl ever 
again having the use of her hand ; which, together 
with the arm, seemed withered and somewhat con- 
tracted ; only saying [that] in some years Nature 
might give her some little use of it, which was con- 

' The account up to this point is copied from a Letter to 
Miss F. T. Bird, dated September 3, 1809, by Mr. Wood- 
ford, an eminent surgeon of Taunton, who attended Mary 
Wood upon her accident. 


sidered by her superior as a mere delusive comfort. 
Despairing of further human assistance toward her 
cure, she determined, with the approbation of her 
said superiors, to have recourse to God, through the 
intercession of S. Winifred by a Novena.^ Ac- 
cordingly on the 6th of August she put a piece of 
moss from the Saint's Well on her arm, continuing 
recollected and praying, &c., when, to her great 
surprise, the next morning she found that she 
could dress herself, put her arm behind her, and to 
her head, having regained the free use and full 
strength of it. In short, she was perfectly cured." 

So much for this portion of Miss Hornyold's nar- 
rative. Now, reverting to Bishop Milner, his testi- 
mony to the fact of the cure having been effected 
is here set forth : 

" In this state I myself saw her a few years 
afterwards, when I examined her hand ; and in the 
same state she still continues, at the above-named 
place, with manyother highly credible vouchers, who 
are ready respectively to attest these particulars." 

The conclusion of Miss Hornyold's Letter is as 
follows : 

" On the 1 6th of the month the surgeon was sent 
for, and being asked his opinion concerning Mary 
Wood's arm, he gave no hope of a perfect cure, and 
little of her ever having even the least use of it ; 

' Certain stated prayers and devotional exercises continued 
throughout nine days. 


when she, being introduced to him and showing 
him the arm, which he thoroughly examined and 
tried, he was so affected at the sight and the recital 
of the manner of the cure, as to shed tears, and 
exclaim, 'It is a special interposition of Divine 
Providence.' " 

The case of Winifred White, a young woman of 
Wolverhampton, suddenly and miraculously cured, 
is not less important and interesting : — " The dis- 
ease from which she was suffering," writes Bishop 
Milner, " was one of the most alarming of a topical 
nature of any that is known, namely a curvature 
of the spine, as the physician and surgeon ascer- 
tained, who treated it accordingly, by making two 
great issues, one on each side of the spine, of which 
the marks are still imprinted on the patient's back. 
Secondly, that besides the most acute pains through- 
out the whole nervous system, and particularly in 
the brain, this disease of the spine produced a hemi- 
plegia, or palsy of one side of the patient, so that 
when she could feebly crawl, with the help of a 
crutch under her right arm, she was forced to drag 
her left leg and arm after her, just as if they con- 
stituted no part of her body. Thirdly, that her 
disorder was of long continuance, namely, of three 
years' standing, though not in the same degree till 
the latter part of that time, and that it was publicly 
known to all her neighbours and a great many 
others. Fourthly, that having performed the acts 
of devotion which she felt herself called upon to 


undertake, and having bathed in the fountain [at 
Holywell in Flintshire], she, in one instant of time, 
on the 28th of June, 1805, found herself freed from 
all pains and disabilities, so as to be able to walk, 
run, and jump like any other young person, and to 
carry a greater weight with the left arm than with 
the right. Fifthly, that she has continued in this 
state these thirteen years, down to the present time ; 
and that all the above-mentioned circumstances 
have been ascertained by me in the regular exami- 
nation of the several witnesses of them, in the 
places of their respective residences, namely in 
Staffordshire, Lancashire, and Wales, they being 
persons of different counties, no less than of dif- 
ferent religions and situation of life."^ 

The result of a solemn Curse, made in the Name 
of Almighty God, by one who had been greatly 
and grievously wronged, is recorded and not un- 
suitably here, it is hoped, in the following remark- 
able narrative — one fresh evidence of the existence 
of the Supernatural amongst us, had we only eyes 
to see and ears to hear. 

The younger son of a Nova Scotia baronet, under 

' The authentic documents of the examination, and of the 
whole process of the cure, are contained at length in a work 
entitled " The IVIiraculous Cure of Winifred White," by the 
Rev. John Milner, D.D., published by Grace of Dublin, and 
reprinted, on several occasions and in different forms, in 
England. It may be added that Winifred White departed 
this life on the 13th of January, 1824, nineteen years after 
her cure. She died of consumption. 


promise of marriage, betrayed the only surviving 
daughter of a Northumbrian yeoman of ancient and 
respectable family, nearly alHed to a peer, so created in 
William the Fourth's reign. She was a person of rare 
beauty and of considerable accomplishments, having 
received an education of a very superior character 
in Edinburgh. After her betrayal she was deserted 
by her lover, who fled abroad. The night before he 
left, however, at her earnest request, he met her in 
company with a friend with the avowed intention 
of promising marriage in the future, when his family 
(as he declared) might be less averse to it. After- 
events show that this was merely an empty promise, 
and that he had no intention of fulfilling it. A long 
discussion took place between the girl and her 
betrayer, in the presence of the female friend in 
question, a first cousin of her father. High words, 
strong phrases, and sharp upbraidings were uttered 
on both sides ; until at last the young man in cruel 
and harsh language, turning upon her fiercely, de- 
clared that he would never marry her at all, and 
held himself, as he maintained, perfectly free to wed 
whom he should choose. " You will be my certain 
death," she exclaimed, "but death will be more wel- 
come than life." " Die and be ," he replied. 

At this the girl, with a wail of agony, swooned 
away. On her recovery she seemed to gather up 
her strength to pronounce a Curse upon him and 
his. It was spoken in the Name of the One Living 
and True God. She uttered it with deliberation, 
yet with wildness and bitterness, maintaining that 


she was his wife, and would haunt him to the day 
of his death ; declaring at the same time to her re- 
lation present, " And you shall be the witness." He 
left the place of meeting without any reconciliation 
or kind word, and, it was believed, went abroad. 
In less than five months, in giving birth to her child, 
she died, away from her home, and was buried with 
it (for the child, soon after its baptism, died like- 
wise) in a village churchyard near Ambleside. Nei- 
ther stone nor memorial marks the grave. Her 
father, a widower, wounded to the quick by the loss 
of his only daughter, pined away and soon followed 
her to his last resting-place. 

Five years had passed and the female cousin of 
the old yeoman, being possessed of a competency, 
had gone to live in London, when, on a certain 
morning in the spring of the year 1842, she was 
passing by a church in the west end, where, from 
the number of carriages waiting, she saw that a mar- 
riage was being solemnized. She felt mysteriously 
and instinctively drawn to look in. On doing so, 
and pressing forwards towards the altar, she beheld 
to her astonishment, the very man, somewhat al- 
tered and weather-worn, who had caused so much 
misery to her relations, being married (as on in- 
quiring she discovered) to the daughter of a rich 
city merchant. This affected her deeply, bringing 
back the saddest memories of the past. But, as 
the bridal party were passing out of the church, and 
she pushed forward to look, and be quite sure that 
she had made no mistake, both herself and the 


bridegroom at one moment saw an apparition of 
her relation, the poor girl whom he had ruined, 
dressed in white, with flowing hair and a wild look, 
holding up in both hands her little- infant. Both 
seemed perfectly natural in appearance and to be 
of ordinary flesh and blood. There was no mis- 
taking her certain identity. This occurred in the 
full sunshine of noon and under a heavy Palladian 
Porch in the presence of a croAvd. The bridegroom 
turned deathly pale in a moment, trembled violently, 
and then, staggering, fell forward down the steps. 
This occasioned a vast stir and sensation amongst 
the crowd. It seemed incomprehensible. The 
bridegroom, said the church officials in answer 
to inquiries, was in a fit. He was carried down 
the steps and taken in the bridal carriage to his 
father-in-law's house. But it was reported that he 
never spoke again ; and this fact is mentioned in 
a contemporary newspaper-account of the event. 
Anyhow his marriage and death appeared in the 
same number of one of the daily papers. And 
although the family of the city merchant knew 
nothing of the apparition, what is thus set forth 
was put on record by the lady in question, who 
knew the mysterious circumstances in all their 
details; which record is reasonably believed by her 
to afford at once a signal example of retributive 
justice and a marked piece of evidence of the Super- 
natural. Names, for obvious reasons, are not men- 
tioned here. The truth of this narrative, however, 


was affirmed on oath by the lady in question, before 
two justices of the peace, at Windsor, on October 3, 
1848, one of whom was a beneficed clergyman in 
the diocese of Oxford, well known to the Editor of 
this volume, — to whom this record was given, in 
the year 1857 (when he was assistant-minister of 
Berkeley Chapel), by a lady of rank who worshipped 

Here, accounts of two cases of miraculous cure 
through and by the Blessed Sacrament will be 
suitably and fittingly introduced. The first is 
from the pen of a well-known mission-preacher of 
the Church of England, and occurred in the diocese 
of London : the second, equally remarkable, took 
place in the diocese of Metz. 

The introductory remarks, so full of truth and 
piety, which immediately precede the first narra- 
tive, have an equal bearing on that which follows. 
Both are instances of God's extraordinary mercy 
and goodness to the children of men. 

" The Blessed Sacrament of the Body and Blood 
of the Lord works its effects not only on the soul 
of man, but also on his body. We need not be 
surprized at this, for if the body is affected by the 
soul, so that a person depressed in mind often falls 
sick in body ; and, on the contrary, if good spirits 
are of great use in preserving bodily health — as 
indeed we frequently see, — if this be the case, may 
Ave not expect that the Sacrament, which only 
reaches the soul through the body, will have some 


influence on that body through which they are 
transmitted. The Blessed Sacrament, then, when 
worthily received, affects the body in three ways. 
First, it tends to moderate what is called ' con- 
cupiscence,' that is those natural appetites and 
desires of the body which dwell in the flesh and 
tempt to sin. .And this we learn from the words 
of the prayer of Humble Access in the Communion 
Service — that our sinful bodies may be made clean 
by His Body. 

" Secondly, the Blessed Sacrament gives to our 
bodies glory in the Day of the Resurrection. 

" Our Lord says, ' He that eateth My Flesh and 
drinketh My Blood hath Eternal Life, and I will 
raise him up at the last day.' Not that all men 
will not rise from the dead at that day, but that 
the wicked will rise with hideous bodies, and the 
righteous only with bodies like unto our Lord's 
own Body ; whilst the glory also of those who are 
saved will differ one from another. And so S. 
Paul writes, ' One star differeth from another star 
in glory.' 

" Thirdly, the Blessed Sacrament sometimes 
works the cure of sick persons who receive it with 
faith. Of course this is not often the case, for if 
miracles were common they would cease to be 
miracles. Moreover, there is but little faith now-a- 
days, and even when our Lord walked in the flesh 
there were some places in which He did not do 
many mighty works because of their unbelief. 
Also He worked bodily cures the rather during His 


earthly ministry ; because when He gives these more 
excellent gifts it is less necessary for Him to show 
this power by miracles of healing. It pleases Him 
however, sometimes even now, to cure bodily sick- 
ness by his bodily touch, and a case of this sort we 
will now relate : — 

" I. Two or three years ago there lived in one 
of our great cities a poor woman of devotion and 
faith. She attended a church where the Holy 
Eucharist was frequently celebrated, and the true 
faith believingly taught. She received the faith 
gladly, and lived up to it, communicating regu- 
larly and with devotion. It befell her, however, to 
be taken with sickness, which brought on lockjaw, 
so that she could not eat, and only small portions 
of nourishment could be given her through an 
opening in her teeth. She was in this state several 
days, looking forward to certain death. 

" At last, thinking more of the suffering which 
her loss would bring upon her family than upon 
any fear of death in her own heart, she said to her 
husband, 'Surely, the Lord Jesus is .very merciful 
and would restore me to health if we were to ask 
Him. For how dreadful would it be for the poor 
children to be left without a mother ! I have 
heard of a woman who was cured of a sickness 
by our Lord when the doctors gave her up. Why 
should we not ask Him to cure me } ' Thus she 
spoke, and her husband agreed with her, that they 
would ask this of the Lord. 

" The priest of the church which they attended 


was visiting the poor woman, and next time he 
came she told him of what she had thought, and 
asked whether it would be wrong to pray for this 
object. Seeing the faith of the poor people, he 
could not say anything against it, only exhorting 
them to be ready to accept the Will of the Lord 
whatever it might be. * It is not wrong,' said he, 
' to pray to the Lord for restoration to health, so 
long as we add, " Not my will but Thine be done." ' 

"Accordingly he arranged that they should have 
a special Celebration of the Blessed Sacrament 
with that intention — to ask of our Lord the cure 
of the poor mother. The time was fixed. The 
woman was to be present herself, and to com- 
municate, and the priest promised to ask some 
other devout people to attend and unite in prayer 
for the same object. 

"At the hour appointed the priest was at the 
altar, a little body of devout persons was gathered 
in the church, and the poor woman was brought 
there, suffering, but still with good hope. The 
service proceeded ; the prayer of Consecration was 
said ; the Lamb of God was upon the altar, and 
the priest pleaded the one true and perfect and 
all-sufficient Sacrifice on behalf of the poor sufferer, 
and prayed for her recovery, as did also herself 
and her friends. Having communicated himself, 
the priest brought the Holy Sacrament to the 
woman, giving her only a small particle, such 
as she could receive between her teeth, and then 


the chalice of the Lord's Blood. The faithful 
now communicated ; the remainder of the service 
was said, the Priest gave the Peace and Blessing, 
and the last Amen was said. Then the woman fell 
down in a sort of swoon ; but it only lasted a short 
time, for presently she got up, opened her mouth, 
and said, ' I am quite well.' Yes ! The Lord had 
heard her. We were astonished with joy, and 
joined in hearty thanksgiving to God for the 
miracle which he had wrought. The woman 
walked home, to the great delight of her family, 
and was able to return to her ordinary work. 

*' A fortnight after the event, the writer of this 
narrative ^ saw the woman, and heard from her own 
lips, as well as from the Priest, the account of the 
miracle, which he has related as nearly as he can 
remember it. 

" We are not to be anxious for miracles, nor to 
crave after signs ; but when it pleases God to work 
such as this, it seems to be right for His glory, and 
for the dignity of the Most Holy Sacrament, that 
His mercy should be made known ; and is it not 
joy to every faithful heart, that the Lord should 
manifest His power over all His works, and show 
to men His tender compassion of the sick and 
suffering .''" 

n. The second case is thus related. It bears a 
remarkable similarity to that just set forth : — 

' A well-known clerg)man of the Church of England. 


"Anne de Clery, the subject of the extraordinary- 
cure about to be recorded, was at school in the 
Convent of the Sacred Heart, at Metz, in the year 
1855. She was then thirteen years of age, and her 
heahh and spirits good. Previously she had lived 
two years in Africa, where her father still resides,^ 
and occupies the post of Notary-General to the 
Imperial Court at Algiers. Madame de Clery's 
health having suffered from the climate, she re- 
turned to Metz with her two daughters, the young- 
est of whom — Anne — was very uneasy about her 
mother's health, and prayed fervently for her reco- 
very, offering herself to suffer the pains of sickness 
in her stead, Anne's illness, which was of a very 
distressing nature, commenced in the Holy Week 
of 1856, and continued steadily to increase, in spite 
of the prescriptions of the first physicians at Metz, 
Aix in Savoy, and Paris. Remedies of every pos- 
sible kind — some of them of a terribly severe cha- 
racter — were tried, but without the smallest result, 
except to increase the sufferings of the poor patient. 
The Paris physician, at length (in the year 1857), 
pronounced her case to be incurable. He says : 
' Mdlle. Anne is labouring under the disease known 
by the name of " muscular and atrophical paralysis," 
I very much apprehend that no remedies can touch 

' The account from which the above was compiled was a 
formal and authentic statement of the Cure de S. Martin, at 
Metz (A.D. 1865). 


the disease.' The sufferings of the poor girl were 
continuous and severe. Her Hmbs were deprived 
of power and strength ; they shrank and contracted, 
and the muscles under each knee produced a sort 
of knot which no power on earth could untie. She 
would be, as far as man could foresee, a cripple as 
long as she lived. Anne de Clery was, however, 
resigned to the Will of God, and supported her heavy 
trial by a deep piety and constant prayer. At 
times her faith suggested the possibility of a mira- 
culous cure ; but she scarcely hoped or wished for 
such a wonderful favour. She had a particular 
devotion to the Blessed Sacrament ; and every 
week the priest brought her the Holy Communion, 
which was her greatest support and consolation. 
She employed her time, when able, though in the 
recumbent position, and unable to lift her head, in 
embroidering altar-cloths, and making artificial 
flowers for the adornment of the sanctuary. It was 
while thus preparing for the devotion known as ' the 
Forty Hours' Adoration ' in the parochial church 
of S. Martin at Metz, in the year 1865, that the 
thought sometimes crossed her mind that she might 
be cured by the Blessed Sacrament. But she was 
slow to encourage an idea which might be an illu- 
sion, and deprive her of her resignation and peace 
of mind. The devotion above mentioned was to 
take place on the 12th, 13th, and 14th of June. On 
the first two days it was impossible to carry her to 
the church (whither she had not been taken for 


a long while), her pains were so severe ; but on the 
third day, with the greatest difficulty, and at the 
cost of much suffering, after having received Com- 
munion, she was carried to the church by her maid 
Clementine, who sat on a bench and held her on 
her knees. Madame de Clery and Mdlle. de Coet- 
losquet knelt close beside her ; but neither Anne 
nor her friends were expecting the extraordinary 
event about to follow. 

" After a few moments' rest Anne became ab- 
sorbed in devotion, and prayed as she often did 
at the moment of Communion : ' Lord, if Thou wilt, 
Thou canst cure me.' At the same instant she felt 
so violent a pain in her whole body, that it was all 
she could do not to scream out. She prayed for 
strength to bear it, and resigned herself to God's 
will. Then, she says, she felt filled with faith and 
hope, and became conscious that she was cured. 
Anne threw herself immediately upon her knees 
and said to her companions, ' Pray, pray ; I am 
'cured ! ' Madame de Clery overcome with emotion, 
in a state of bewilderment, led her daughter out of 
the church, scarcely believing the evidence of her 
senses when she saw her standing alone and able 
to walk. She ascertained that the knots under her 
daughter's knees had entirely disappeared ; and then 
Anne returned to the church, where she remained 
kneeling in praise and thanksgiving before the 
Blessed Sacrament for three-quarters of an hour, 
without feeling the least fatigue. 


Her cure was complete ; all the ailjiients that had 
afflicted her disappeared, leaving behind no trace of 
illness. Eleven days after her cure, Anne walked 
through the streets of Metz in a procession of the 
Blessed Sacrament, which lasted an hour and a 
quarter, to the astonishment and admiration of all 
who had known her former sad condition. Her 
physician, when he saw her rise and walk to meet 
him, said, " Mademoiselle, what men could not 
effect, God has done." 1 

The Editor has been furnished with many similar 
accounts ; some coming before him on slender 
testimony : others on testimony which it is impos- 
sible either to weaken or to reject. In some cases 
strange and supernatural events which have oc- 
curred of late years — beautiful glimpses of the un- 
seen world — are treasured up by those who were 
the direct subjects of them, though considerable diffi- 
culty is experienced in obtaining such satisfactory 
attestations of their authentication, (owing to the 
fact that persons naturally shrink from publicity,) 
as would warrant their appearance in this volume. 

Before this chapter is closed, however, it may 
be well to add the following, from the pen of an 

' The account given above is taken from a small tractate 
entitled " The Miracle of Metz, wrought by the Blessed 
Sacrament, June 14, 1865," translated from the French, by 
Lady Georgiana Fullerton. With the imprimaturs of His 
Grace the Archbishop of Westminster and the Bishop of 
Metz. London : Burns and Co., 1865. 


English clergyman well known to the Editor, which 
possess some inherent interest : 

"This passed under my own eyes a few weeks 
back. A little child, three years old, daughter of 
highly-respectable but poor parents, was accidentally 
burnt to death — fell upon the grate, and lingered 
only some two hours, it might have been supposed in 
frightful tortures. Her mother, who blamed herself 
for leaving the child even for a moment, seemed in 
imminent danger of losing her reason, and was in 
a state of terrible despair. The little one raised 
herself to say, ' Mother, don't cry ! I'm going to 
die;' and then pointing, added, ' Don t you see that 
Good Man who stands there and waits for mef This 
from a child of three years old. 

" Let those who choose, elect to believe that this 
was an optical delusion : those who honestly believe 
that the angels of little children do behold His 
Father's face, and doubt not that angels minister 
to the heirs of salvation, will probably arrive at a 
different conclusion." ^ 

Here is another remarkable case of the Superna- 
tural, provided by the same clergyman : — 

" A lady of my acquaintance, a woman of great 
intellectual powers, with a keenly satirical and in- 
quiring mind, chastened, however, by Christian 

' See a series of most interesting letters, entitled "Is God 
amongst us ?" by a Clergyman of the Church of England, 
published in the " Union " newspaper, for 1857, vol. ii. pp. 
262, 329-330, London : Painter. 


faith and love — a most devout communicant — was 
the voucher of these facts. 

" Retiring to rest some years ago, late at night, 
she happened, on her way to her room, to look out 
of a window which opened on a court behind the 
house. To her surprise (she was not in the least a 
superstitious person, nor had her mind been travel- 
ling in a ghostly direction), she saw standing be- 
neath the window, in the full rays of the moonlight, 
the figure of a child in white clothing, the arms 
crossed in prayer, the face inclining forward, with a 
kind of white cowl or head-covering, from the body 
of which child rays seemed to pass. She was not 
terrified, but amazed ; and after gazing fixedly 
some little while, during which the figure did not 
move, she went to her room, and sent the nurse 
down to fetch something, where she would be likely 
to see the figure, without saying anything about it 
to her. The nurse returned speedily, white with 
fear, saying, ' Ma'am, did you see that wonderful 
thing all shining V The lady inquired what she 
meant. The servant's impressions were identical 
with her own. Neither of them went to look again ; 
but the lady thought within herself, that this might 
be a warning sent from God to prepare her for the 
death of an elder child, a daughter, whose figure 
and bearing, she thought, resembled that of the 
child enshrouded in white linen in the yard ; and 
she consequently entertained a dread that that 
daughter might be taken from her. This did not 


prove the case ; but as another younger child — the 
very darling of the mother's heart, and an infant at 
the time of this singular apparition — grew older, 
the idea was borne in strongly upon the lady's 
mind, that that younger child would be taken from 
her about the time when it attained the apparent 
age and stature of the mysterious visitant, who 
seemed to be a little girl of about five years old. 
This, doubtless, might be a fancy only : she had not 
seen the face, only the figure ; and when this dear 
little one — a peculiarly sweet and engaging child — 
actually sickened, and at last, after a long illness, 
died, at about this age, the mother did not dare 
take to herself the consolation it seemed likely to 
afford her, as a foreshadowing of her child's beati- 
fied rest. On the contrary, the mother's heart was 

distracted with doubts and fears There 

had been no direct communion with God, as far as 
man could judge, near the last ; rather a certain 
fretfulness, a turning from God to man, a clinging 
to the mother as her all. The Christian's heart 
was almost paralysed by the vast and unspeakable 
terror which took possession of her soul. Was her 

dear one indeed saved } Although she 

thought all day long of this child, — I knew her at 
the time, and she seemed consumed by grief, fast 
breaking, though never was God's house opened 
without her finding her way thither, — she had never 
once dreamt of her, or seen her in her dreams, much 
to her own surprise, and despite the constant crav- 


ing of her aching heart. But at last, one night she 
dreamt, and thus : that she had risen from her bed, 
and was standing in her chamber ; that the door 
softly opened, and her little one came and sat upon 
the threshold, sweetly smiling. ' What, my own 
darling ! (she thought she said,) are you come back 
again to me .-' ' 'Yes, my mamma,' replied the 
child. ' And are you happy, dearest .'* ' ' Yes, c^uite 
happy ; but not for anything I have done, — only for 
the merit of my Lord.' The mother advanced and 
embraced her child, and thus embracing she awoke. 
And now wonderfully was it borne in upon her that 
the midnight apparition of so many years ago and 
the child of her dream were one. Her dream was 
so real, that she could not but receive it as a divine 
intimation, a direct answer to her prayers. She 
now felt and believed that her dear one was in 
Paradise. For some weeks, despite her longings to 
renew the vision, she saw her child no more. Then 
she did so once again, in a dream. She was crossing 
a radiant garden, where she knew not ; in its centre 
was a stately hall or cupola, and on the marble 
steps which led to it stood her sweet one, looking 
pure and blessed. The mother bounded towards 
her, when she espied, within the hall, at the further 
end of a corridor or long passage, the form of an- 
other child of hers still living ! This sight terrified 
her ; she shrieked out, and shrieking she awoke. 
That child lives still, and may it long be preserved 
to the mother's prayers ! But meanwhile, it is not 


a little remarkable, that during nearly three years 
which have elapsed, despite every effort on the 
mother's part, she has never once dreamt of her 
darling ! This is what contributes, with the vision 
of the radiant child at first, to impart a supernatural 
character to the whole transaction, and take these 
visitations out of the category of ordinary dreams. 
On my own mind there is not the smallest doubt 
that here was a two-fold supernatural intervention ; 
firstly, vision, — seen, remember, by two witnesses ; 
then by a most strangely corroborative dream." 

Another example, shadowing forth the possible 
value and power of prayer, — " the effectual, fervent 
prayer of a righteous man," — though briefly told, is 
not without its own special interest in these days of 
Irreligion and Unbelief. 

" An English gentleman I knew well was resid- 
ing in France ; his only son was a barrister in the 
Middle Temple Chambers in London. This son 
suffered from disease of the heart, not known to be 
immediately dangerous ; he was a professed unbe- 
liever — a scoffer, even ; and had, alas ! spoken 
lightly of Revelation the day before his death. A 
sudden, violent attack prostrated him ; and, after a 
few hours of suffering, he departed. That night, 
the father, who was not aware of any immediate 
danger to his child, dreamt that the spirit of his 
deceased wife appeared to him, and addressed him, 
saying, ' Rise and pray ! William is dying, and 
there are none to pray for him ! ' — or words to that 


efifcct. This dream was repeated, I believe, thrice. 
The father did rise, and remained in earnest inter- 
cessory prayer (he was a devout Christian man,) for 
the greater part of the night. This is a well-au- 
thenticated fact, the certainty of which may be 
relied on." 

This chapter is brought to its close by a most 
impressive account of sweet and heavenly music 
which was heard near the dying bed of one, whose 
patience and devotion during sickness were as 
remarkable as her earthly life had been pure and 

It is from the pen of one who for many years 
was a clergyman of the Church of England, but is 
now a Cistercian monk of the Monastery of Mount 
S. Bernard, on the Charnwood Hills, in Leicester- 
shire, and who is known in religion as Father 

" On the last day she [Mary, daughter of A. P. 
de Lisle, of Garcndon Park, Esq.], longed much 
for a cup of cold water, but it was not thought 
good for her ; and so, when reminded of our 
Saviour's thirst on the Cross, she offered up her 
own thirst in union with His, and said she would 
ask for it no more.^ Her faculties, however, con- 

' " The Measure of Christian Sorrow for the Departed," a 
Sermon preached at the funeral of Mary Lisle Phillipps de 
Lisle, by the Rev. Henry Collins, ALA. Loughborough : 
J. H. Gray, i860, pp. 11-13. 


tinued entire and clear to the end, and by her 
particular request indulgenced prayers ' were recited 
to her that she might frequently repeat them. 
Thu^ her life ebbed softly away ; the last words on 
her lips being a prayer to her ' Sweet Saviour to 
have mercy upon her.' And are not such things 
as these natural grounds for having a sure hope 
that she died in the favour of God ? It is true 
that we have even supernatural grounds in the fact 
that on the night before her decease (whilst she 
was receiving with devout mind the last anointing 
of Holy Church to prepare her for her end) there was 
heard distinctly and by several persons the sound 
of a celestial chant, proceeding from her chamber, 
hymned by no earthly voices. Does not this look 
as if the blessed spirits themselves had been assist- 
ing to prepare her that she might soon become one 
of their company .'' " 

" Four men," continues the author of the Sermon 
from which the above is taken, in a note to it, 
" none of them [Roman] Catholics, heard the 
chanting three several times. They all agreed in 

' " Indulgenced prayers are prayers to the recital of which 
is attached by the Church the grant of indulgences. By 
indulgences Catholics understand a remission of sin, that is, 
of all those temporal pains which God inflicts for sin com- 
rnitted by His servants after baptism ; and the Church 
teaches that the power of remission was conferred by Jesus 
Christ when He said to the Apostles, 'Whatsoever ye shall 
loose on earth, shall be loosed in Heaven.' " S. Matt. xvi. 19. 


their conviction as to whence it came, that it was 
from the chamber of the dying child. The third 
time it was so loud that they could distinguish, as 
it were, the several voices that blended in this 
celestial harmony, some of which sung the treble 
notes, while others took the deeper parts. The 
character of the music was indescribably beautiful ; 
and one of the men, who had been in the habit of 
attending the Catholic service in S. Mary's chapel, 
at Grace-Dieu, declared that the style of it was 
exactly like that of the solemn Plain Chant used 
in that chapel which he was accustomed to hear 
there. They described the chanting as having no 
air in it that they could carry away, but the effect 
was solemn and beautiful beyond expression. They 
supposed, at the moment, that it was some service, 
according to the Catholic rites, which was being 
sung in the sick chamber by the priest and his 
attendants. When they heard it, therefore, they 
were not surprised at the sound, except that its 
beauty exceeded that of any religious service they 
had ever heard ; and it was not until the following 
morning, at the breakfast hour, when relating what 
they had heard to their fellow-servants, and being 
then informed that there had been no service 
cliantcd in the sick room, that the conviction flashed 
upon them, as upon all to whom these facts have 
been since related, that the chanting proceeded 
from heavenly spirits and departed saints, who had 
come hither on an errand of mercy, to hedge round 


the dying bed of the departing child." — Note, p. 


The Editor prefers to leave these varied records 
of the spiritual powers and properties of the 
Church, these different examples of the presence 
of the Supernatural, to the consideration of the 
reader ; himself declining either to lay down prin- 
ciples, frame arguments, or draw deductions from 
facts already set forth. 

Appendix to Chapter III. 


[Translated from the " Roman Ritual."] 

\HE Priest, having confessed, or at least hating sin 
in his heart, and havitig said Mass, if it possibly 
and conveniently ca7i be done, aiid humbly implored 
the Divine help, vested in surplice and violet stole, the end of 
which he shaU place round the fieck of the one possessed, and 
having the possessed person befoj'e him, atui bound if there be 
da?iger of violence, shall sign hitnself the person, and those 
standing by, with the sign of the Cross, and sprinkle them 
•zvith holy water, and kneeling down, the others making the 
responses, shall say the Litany as far as the prayers. 

At the end the Antiphon. Remember not, Lord, our 
offences, nor the offences of our forefathers, neither take 
Thou vengeance of our sins. 

Our Father. Secretly. 

jr. And lead us not into temptation. 

fy. But deliver us from evil. 


Psalm liv. 
Deiis, in Nomine. 
The whole shall be said with Glory be to the Father. 
y. Save Thy servant, 

^. O my God, that putteth his trust in Thee. 
y. Be unto him, O Lord, a strong tower, 
fy. From the face of his enemy. 
y. Let the enemy have no advantage of him, 
i?r. Nor the son of wickedness approach to hurt him. 
y. Send him help, O Lord, from the sanctuary, 
Ei. And strengthen him out of Sion. 
y. Lord, hear my prayer, 
i^. And let my cry come unto Thee. 
y. The Lord be with you, 
fy And with thy spirit. 

Let us pray. 

O God, Whose property is ever to have mercy and to 
forgive : receive our supplications and prayers, that of 
Thy mercy and loving-kindness Thou wilt set free this 
Thy servant (or handmaid) who is fast bound by the chain 
of his sins. 

O holy Lord, Father Almighty, Eternal God, the Father 
of our Lord Jesus Christ : Who hast assigned that tyrant 
and apostate to the fires of hell ; and hast sent Thine Only 
Begotten Son into the world, that He might bruise him as 
he roars after his prey : make haste, tarry not, to deliver 
this man, created in Thine Own image and likeness, 
from ruin, and from the noon-day devil {cicemonio 
meridiauo; in our version, "the sickness that destroyeth 
in the noon-day"). Send Thy fear, O Lord, upon the 
wild beast, which devoureth Thy vine. Grant Thy ser- 
vants boldness to fight bravely against that wicked dragon, 
lest he despise them that put their trust in Thee, and say, 


as once he spake in Pharaoh : I know not the Lord, 
neither will I let Israel go. Let Thy right hand in power 
compel him to depart from Thy servant N. (or Thy hand- 
maid N.) ^, that he dare no longer to hold him captive, 
whom Thou hast vouchsafed to make in Thine image, and 
hast redeemed in Thy Son ; Who liveth and reigneth with 
Thee in the Unity of the Holy Spirit, ever One God, 
world without end. Amen. 

Then he shall coinynand the spirit in this man?ier. 
I command thee, whosoever thou art, thou unclean 
spirit, and all thy companions possessing this servant of 
God, that by the Mysteries of the Incarnation, Passion, 
Resurrection and Ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ, by 
the sending of the Holy Ghost, and by the Coming of the 
same our Lord to judgment, thou tell me thy name, the 
day, and the hour of thy going out, by some sign : and, 
that to me, a minister of God, although unworthy, thou 
be wholly obedient in all things : nor hurt this creature 
of God, or those that stand by, or their goods in any 

The?i shall these Gospels, or one or the other, be read over 
tlie possessed. 

The Lesson of the Holy Gospel according to S.John i. i. 
As he says these woi'ds he shall sign himself and the 
possessed on the foi'ehead, mouth, and breast. In the be- 
ginning was the Word . . . full of grace and truth. 

The Lesson of the Holy Gospel according to S. Mark 
xvi. 15. At that time: Jesus spake unto His disciples: 
Go ye into all the world . . . shall lay hands on the sick, 
and they shall recover. 

The Lesson of the Holy Gospel according to S. Luke 
X. 17. At that time : The seventy returned again with joy 
. . . because your names are written in heaven. 


The Lesson of the Holy Gospel according to S. Luke 
xi. 14. At that time : Jesus was casting out a devil, and 
it was dumb . . . wherein he trusted, and divideth his 

y. Lord, hear my prayer, 

B;. And let my cry come unto Thee. 

y. The Lord be with you, 

fy. And with thy Spirit. 

Let us pray. 
Almighty Lord, Word of God the Father, Jesus Christ, 
God and Lord of every creature : Who didst give to Thy 
Holy Apostles power to tread upon serpents and scor- 
pions : Who amongst other of Thy wonderful commands 
didst vouchsafe to say — Put the devils to flight : by Whose 
power Satan fell from heaven like lightning : with supplica- 
tion I beseech Thy Holy Name in fear and trembling, that 
to me Thy most unworthy servant, granting me pardon of 
all my faults, Thou Avilt vouchsafe to give constancy of 
faith and power, that shielded by the might of Thy 
holy arm, in trust and safety I may approach to attack 
this cruel devil, through Thee, O Jesus Christ, the Lord 
our God, Who shalt come to judge the quick and the 
dead, and the world by fire. Amen. 

Then defending himself and the possessed with the sign of 
the Cross, putting part of his stole round the neck, and his 
right ha?id upon the head of the possessed, firinly and with 
great faith he shall say what follows. 

/". Behold the Cross of the Lord, flee ye of the contrary 

fy. The Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, 
hath prevailed. 

V . Lord, hear my prayer, 

fy. And let my cry come unto Thee. 


y. The Lord be with you, 
fy. And with thy spirit. 

Let us pray. 

God, and Father of our Lord Jesiis Christ, I call 
upon Thy Holy Name, and humbly implore Thy mercy, 
that Thou wouldest vouchsafe to grant me help against 
this, and every unclean spirit, that vexes this Thy creature. 
Through the same Lord Jesus Christ. 

The Exorcism. 

1 exorcise thee, most foul spirit, every coming in of the 
enemy, every apparition, every legion ; in the Name of 
our Lord Jesus ►J< Christ be rooted out, and be put to 
flight from this creature of God ^. He commands thee. 
Who has bid thee be cast down from the highest heaven 
into the lower parts of the earth. He commands thee, 
Who has commanded the sea, the winds, and the storms. 
Hear therefore, and fear, Satan, thou injurer of the faith, 
thou enemy of the human race, thou procurer of death, 
thou destroyer of life, kindler of vices, seducer of men, 
betrayer of the nations, inciter of envy, origin of avarice, 
cause of discord, stirrer-up of troubles : why standest 
thou, and resistest, when thou knowest that Christ the 
Lord destroyest thy ways ? Fear Him, Who was sacri- 
ficed in Isaac, Who was sold in Joseph, was slain in the 
Lamb, w^as crucified in man, thence was the triumpher 
over hell. The following sig7is of the Ci'oss shall be made 
upon the forehead of the possessed. Depart therefore in 
the Name of the Father ►!<, and of the Son ^, and of the 
Holy ►J) Ghost : give place to the Holy Ghost, by this 
sign of the holy ■^ Cross of Jesus Christ our Lord : 
Who with the Father, and the same Holy Ghost, liveth 
and reigneth ever one God, world without end. Amen. 


y. Lord, hear my prayer. 

/^. And let my cry come unto Thee. 

y. The Lord be with you. 

/^. And with thy spirit. 

Let us pray. 

O God, the Creator and Protector of the human race, 
Who hast formed man in Thine own Image : look upon 
this Thy servant N. (or this Thy handmaid N.), who is 
grievously vexed with the wiles of an unclean spirit, whom 
the old adversary, the ancient enemy of the earth, en- 
compasses with a horrible dread, and blinds the senses of 
his human understanding with stupor, confounds him with 
terror, and harasses him with trembling and fear. Drive 
away, O Lord, the power of the devil, take away his 
deceitful snares : let the impious tempter fly far hence : 
let Thy servant be defended by the sign ^ {on his fore- 
head) of Thy Name, and be safe both in body, and soul. 
( The three foUouniig crosses shall be made on the breast of 
the demoniac^ Do Thou guard his inmost "^ soul. Thou 
rule his inward >J< parts. Thou strengthen his ^ heart. 
Let the attempts of the opposing power in his soul 
vanish away. Grant, O Lord, grace to this invoca- 
tion of Thy most Holy Name, that he who up to this 
present was causing terror, may flee away affrighted, and 
depart conquered; and that this Thy servant, strengthened 
in heart, and sincere in mind, may render Thee his due 
service. Through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen. 

The Exorcism. 

I adjure thee, thou old serpent, by the Judge of the 

(juick and the dead, by thy Maker, and the Maker of the 

world : by Him, Who hath power to put thee into hell, that 

thou depart in haste from this servant of God N., who 



returns to the bosom of the Church, with thy fear and with 
the torment of thy terror. I adjure Thee again ►!< {o7i his 
forehead), not in my infirmity, but by the power of the 
Holy Ghost, that thou go out of this servant of God N., 
whom the Ahiiighty God hath made in His Own Image. 
Yield, therefore, not to me, but to the minister of Christ. 
For His power presses upon thee Who subdued thee be- 
neath His Cross. Tremble at His arm, which, after the 
groanings of hell were subdued, led forth the souls into 
light. Let the body ►J^ {on his breast) of man be a 
terror to thee, let the image of God ^ {on his forehead) 
be an alarm to thee. Resist not, nor delay to depart from 
this person, for it has pleased Christ to dwell in man. And 
think not that I am to be despised, since thou knowest that 
I too am so great a sinner. God >J< commands thee. The 
majesty of Christ ^ commands thee. God the Father ^ 
commands thee. God the Son '^ commands thee. God 
the Holy ►J* Ghost commands thee. The Sacrament of 
the Cross ^ commands thee. The faith of the holy 
Apostles Peter and Paul, and of all the other Saints >J<, 
commands thee. The blood of the Martyrs ►$< com- 
mands thee. The stedfastness {co7itinentid) of the 
Confessors >J< commands thee. The devout intercession 
of all the Saints ■^ commands thee. The virtue of the 
Mysteries of the Christian Faith >J4 commands thee. Go out, 
therefore, thou transgressor. Go out, thou seducer, full of 
all deceit and wile, thou enemy of virtue, thou persecutor of 
innocence. Give place, thou most dire one : give place, 
thou most impious one : give place to Christ in Whom 
thou hast found nothing of thy works : Who hath over- 
come thee. Who hath destroyed thy kingdom, Who hath 
led thee captive and bound thee, and hath spoiled thy 
goods : Who hath cast thee into outer darkness, where 
for thee and thy servants everlasting destruction is pre- 


pared. But why, O fierce one, dost thou \vithstand? 
why, rashly bold, dost thou refuse ? thou art the accused 
of Almighty God, whose laws thou hast broken. Thou 
art the accused of Jesus Christ our Lord, whom thou hast 
dared to tempt, and presumed to crucify. Thou art the 
accused of the human race, to whom by thy persuasion thou 
hast given to drink thy poison. Therefore, I adjure thee, 
most wicked dragon, in the Name of the immaculate ^ 
Lamb, Who treads upon the lion and adder. Who 
tramples under foot the young lion and the dragon, that 
thou depart from this man ^ {let the sign be made upon 
his forehead), that thou depart from the Church of God 
^ {let the sign be made over those who are standing by) ; 
tremble, and flee away at the calling upon the Name of 
that Lord, of Whom hell is afraid ; to Whom the Virtues, 
the Powers, and the Dominions of the heavens are subject; 
Whom Cherubim and Seraphim with unwearied voices 
praise, saying : Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Sabaoth. 
The AVord ^ made Flesh commands thee. He Who was 
bom ^ of the Virgin commands thee. Jesus ^ of Naza- 
reth commands thee; Who, although thou didst despise 
His disciples, bade thee go bruised and overthrown out of 
the man : and in his presence, having separated thee from 
him, thou didst not presume to enter into the herd of 
swine. Therefore, thus now adjured in His Name ^, de- 
part from the man, whom He has formed. It is hard for 
thee to wish to resist <^. It is hard for thee to kick 
against the pricks ►j<. Because the more slowly goest 
thou out, does the greater punishment increase against 
thee, for thou despisest not men, but Him, Who is Lord 
both of the quick and the dead, Who shall come to judge 
the quick and the dead, and the World by fire. i^. Amen. 

V- Lord, hear my prayer. 

fy. And let my cry come unto thee. 


y. The Lord be with you. 
fy. And with thy spirit. 

Let us pray. 

God of heaven, God of earth, God of the Angels, God 
of the Archangels, God of the Prophets, God of the 
Apostles, God of the Martyrs, God of the Virgins, God, 
Who hast the power to give hfe after death, rest after 
labour; because there is none other God beside Thee, 
nor could be true, but Thou, the Creator of heaven and 
earth, Who art the true King, and of Whose kingdom there 
shall be no end : humbly I beseech Thy glorious majesty, 
that Thou wouldest vouchsafe to deliver this Thy servant 
from unclean spirits, through Christ our Lord. Amen. 

The Exorcism. 

1 therefore adjure thee, thou most foul spirit, every 
appearance, every inroad of Satan, in the Name of 
Jesus Christ i^ of Nazareth, Who, after His baptism in 
Jordan, was led into the wilderness, and overcame thee in 
thine own stronghold : that thou cease to assault him 
whom He hath formed from the dust of the earth for His 
own honour and glory : and that thou in miserable man 
tremble not at human weakness, but at the image of 
Almighty God. Yield, therefore, to God ^ Who by His 
servant Moses drowned thee and thy malice in Pharaoh 
and his army in the depths of the sea. Yield to God '^, 
Who put thee to flight when driven out of King Saul 
with spiritual song, by his most faithful servant David. 
Yield thyself to God ^, Who condemned thee in the 
traitor Judas Iscariot. For He touches thee with Divine 
»J< stripes, when in His sight, trembling and crying 
out with thy legions, thou saidst : What have I to do 
with Thee, Jesus, Son of the Most High God?- Art 
Thou come hither to torment us before the time ? He 
presses upon thee with perpetual flames, Who shall 
say to the wicked at the end of time — Depart from 


Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the 
de\'il and his angels. For thee, O impious one, and for 
thy angels, is the worm that dieth not ; for thee and thy 
angels is the fire unquenchable prepared : for thou art the 
chief of accursed murder, thou the author of incest, thou 
the head of sacrileges, thou the master of the worst 
actions, thou the teacher of heretics, thou the instigator 
of all uncleanness. Therefore go out ►Jj, thou wicked 
one, go out ►!<, thou infamous one, go out with all thy 
deceits ; for God hath willed that man shall be His 
temple. But why dost thou delay longer here ? Give 
honour to God the Father >I< Almighty, before Whom 
every knee is bent. Give place to Jesus Christ >J« the 
Lord, Who shed for man His most precious Blood. Give 
place to the Holy ^ Ghost, Wlio by His blessed apostle 
Peter struck thee to the ground in Simon Magus ; Who 
condemned thy deceit in Ananias and Sapphira ; Who 
smote thee in Herod, because he gave not God the glory ; 
Who by His apostle Paul smote thee in Elymas the sorcerer 
with a mist and darkness, and by the same apostle by his 
word of command bade thee come out of the damsel 
possessed with the spirit of divination. Now therefore de- 
part ^, depart, thou seducer. The wilderness is thy abode. 
The serpent is the place of thy habitation : be humbled, and 
be overthrown. There is no time now for delay. For be- 
hold the Lord the Ruler approaches closely upon thee, 
and His fire shall glow before Him, and shall go before 
Him ; and shall burn up His enemies on every side. If 
thou hast deceived man, God thou* canst not scoff: One 
expels thee, from WTiose Sight nothing is hidden. He 
casts thee out, to Whose power all things are subject. He 
shuts thee out, Who hast prepared for thee and for thine 
angels everlasting hell ; out of Whose mouth the sharp 
sword shall go out, when He shall come to judge the 
quick and the dead, and the \Vorld by fire. Amen. 


All the aforesaid things being said and done, so far as 
there shall be need, they shall be repeated, until the possessed 
person be entirely set free. 

TJie following which are noted down will be of great 
assistance, said devoutly over the possessed, and also fre- 
que7itly to repeat the Our Father, Hail Mary, a?id Creed. 

T/ie Canticle. Magnificat. 

The Canticle. Benedictus. 

T/ie Creed of S. Athanasius. 
Quicimqiie vult. 
Psalm xci. Qui habitat. 
Psalm Ixviii. Exurgat Deus. 
Psalm Ixx. Deus in adjutorium. 
Psalm liv. In JVotnine Tuo. 
Psalm cxviii. Confitemi7ii Domino. 
Psalm XXXV. Judica, Doniine. 
Psalm xxxi. In Te, Domine, speravi. 
Psalm xxii. Deus, Deus fiieus. 
Psalm iii. Domini, quid vmltiplicati'i 
Psalm xi. In Domino coti/ido. 
Psalm xiii. Usque quo, Domine ? 

Each Psalm sJiall be said with Glory be to the Father, 

Prayer after bei?ig set free. 

We pray Thee, O Almighty God, that the spirit of 
wickedness may have no more power over this Thy servant 
N. {or Thy handmaid N.), but that he may flee away, 
and never come back again : at Thy bidding, O Lord, 
let there come into him {or her) the goodness and peace 
of our Lord Jesus Christ, by Whom we have been 
redeen^ed, and let us fear no evil, for the Lord is with us, 
Who liveth and reigneth with Thee, in the Unity of the 
Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. i^. Amen. 



" To deny the possibility, nay actual existence of Witch- 
craft and Sorcery, is at once flatly to contradict the revealed 
Word of God, in various passages both of the Old and New 
Testament ; and the thing itself is a truth to which every 
Nation in the World hath in its turn borne testimony, either 
by examples seemingly well attested, or by prohibitory laws, 
which at least suppose the possibility of commerce with evil 
spirits." — Blackstone's " Commentaries," book iv. chap. iv. 
p. 6i. 



ITCH CRAFT is the system of those 
persons who, through the direct agency 
of wicked spirits, j^ei'form certain acts 
and deeds beyond the natural and ordi- 
nary powers of mankind.^ On the other hand, 

' An anonymous seventeenth-century writer reasons as fol- 
lows : — " To know things aright and perfectly is to know 
the causes thereof. A definition doth consist of those causes 
which giv^e the whole essence, and contain the perfect nature 
of the thing defined ; where that is therefore found out, there 
appears the very clear light. If it be perfect, it is much the 
greater ; though if it be not fully perfect, yet it giveth some 
good light. For which respect, though I dare not say I can 
give a perfect definition in this matter, which is hard to do 
even in known things, because the essential form is hard to 
be found, yet I do give a definition which may at the least 
give notice and make known what manner of persons they 
be of whom 1 am to speak : — A witch is one that worketh by 
the Devil, or by some devilish or curious art, either hurting or 


Necromancy, according to the definition of Cot- 
grave, is "divination by conference with dead bodies 
raised." In its modern and wider acceptation, the 
latter is a formal summoning of the spirits of the 
dead out of the hidden place of their abode — "the 
desert where they glide," — in order to consult with 
them as to the present or future by unlawful means, 
and to secure their active assistance in supernatural 
things and practices which are forbidden. 

The invocation and consultation of evil spirits 
specially summoned to earth by certain recognized 
incantations, would be acts of Witchcraft and Ne- 
cromancy. Of these cases, abundant examples occur 
both in sacred ^ and profane history.^ 

healing, revealing things secret, or foretelling things to come, 
which the Devil hath devised to entangle and snare men's 
souls withal unto damnation. The Conjurer, the Enchanter, 
the Sorcerer, the Diviner, and whatsoever other sort there is, 
are indeed encompassed within this circle. The Devil doth 
(no doubt) after divers sorts and divers forms, deal in these. 
But no man is able to show an essential difference in each of 
them from the rest. I hold it no wisdom or labour well 
spent to travel much therein. One artificer hath devised 
them all." 

' " Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live."— Exodus xxii. i8. 
" Neither shall ye use enchantment." — Levit. xix. 26. " Re- 
gard not them which have familiar spirits, neither seek after 
wizards, to be defiled by them." — Ibid. ver. 31. " When thou art 
come into the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, thou 
shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations. 
There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his 
son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth 
divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a 


To the wizard or witch were freely given by the 
Devil or his angels divers powers at once super- 
natural and uncommon, by which, when sought 
^or, both riches and sensual pleasures could for a 
while be secured, even to surfeiting. Occasionally 
the gift of predicting certain future events was be- 
stowed ; in other cases, the power of working evil 
and mischief upon the lives, limbs, and fortunes of 

witch, or a charmer, or a consuller with familiar spirits, or a 
necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomina- 
tion unto the Lord : and because of these abominations the 
Lord thy God doth drive them out from before thee." — Deut. 
xviii. 9-12. Of Manasseh is recorded, that "He caused his 
children to pass through the fire in the valley of the son of 
Hinnom : also he observed times, and used enchantments, 
and used witchcraft, and dealt with a familiar spirit, and with 
wizards." — 2 Chron. xxxiii. 6, Lastly, S. Paul mentions "witch- 
craft " amongst such " works of the flesh " as " adultery, 
fornication, heresies, drunkenness, and murders." — Galat. v. 

* Many of the heathens cordially defended magic and Ne- 
cromancy. For example, Asclepiades, who lived in the time 
of Pompey the Great, cured diseases by magic, enjoining upon 
fiis patient, in the case of the falling sickness, to bind upon his 
arm a Cross with a Nail driven into it. Julianus, the magi- 
cian, is reported to have driven the plague out of Rome by 
magical power, Apuleius, a disciple of Plato, wrote at length 
on magic. To him may be added Marcellus and Alexander 
Trallian. Pliny asserts in very plain language that Necro- 
mancy was so prevalent in his day, but was condemned by 
the wisest, that it was classed with treason and poisoning. 
And it is notorious that magic was long used as a convenient 
though inefficient weapon against Christianity. — Vide, like- 
wise, Livy i. 20, and Strabo, lib. vi. 


neighbours or chosen subjects. This power, as was 
commonly believed, was bestowed by an express 
and definite compact, as som^ declare, formally 
made in writing by the Devil or his agents, and 
sealed with the wizard's or witch's own blood. By 
the unvarying terms of the bond, as an essential 
preliminary, the Sacrament of Holy Baptism was 
expressly renounced by the person accepting the 
Devil's terms and conditions. Satan was formally 
worshipped, prayed to, and acknowledged as Ruler 
and Lord ; and then, after a certain number of 
years, as a necessary consequence, the soul of the 
wizard or witch, without any chance of redemption, 
was irrevocably lost, and became absolutely the 
everlasting property of the Evil One. 

The existence of this detail of the Supernatural, 
sometimes dimly and obscurely set forth, at others 
with undoubted, and remarkable clearness, owns in 
its favour the almost universal consent of the human 
race' in all ages. Even the incredulity of the 
modern persons, who term themselves " philoso- 
phers " and " thinkers," cannot be reasonably al- 
leged in contravention of so broad and general a 
fact; for these "philosophers" themselves admit as 
much when, in their great wisdom, they proceed to 
characterize the opposite disposition — the readi- 

' " Fuga Satanse, Exorcismus, ex sacrarum Litterarum 
fontibus, pioq S. Ecclesiee Institute exhaustus. Authore Petro 
Antonio Stampa, Sacerdote Clavenense. Cum privilegio. 
Venetiis. m.dc.v. Apud Sebastianum Combis." 


ness to accept such facts — as " vulgar " and 
" popular." 

It is impossible to point to any period when the 
belief in Witchcraft and Necromancy was perfectly 
obliterated, or to any nation which altogether re- 
pudiated it.^ If one particular phase was removed, 
discredited, or discountenanced, some other form, 
substantially and inherently similar, eventually took 
its place. Holy Scripture - is full of references to 
Witchcraft and Necromancy. The dark rites and 
deeds involved in their practice are distinctly and 
unequivocally condemned. If such had not actively 
existed, why should their condemnation have been 
pronounced in the Sacred Books .-' Supernatural 
acts are there recorded, which are expressly said to 
have been performed by and through the system 
and power of Witchcraft, which is plainly declared 
to be a sin of a very dark dye. The practice, con- 
sequently, is directly and plainly forbidden, as being 
contrary to the Mind and Will of God ; and laws 
were enacted and put on record by which those 

1 "Touching the antiquity of Witchcraft, we must needs 
confess that it hath been of very ancient time, because the 
Scriptures do testify so much, for in the time of Moses it was 
Very rife in Egypt. Neither was it then newly sprung up, 
being common, and grown into such ripeness among the 
nations, that the Lord, reckoning by divers kinds, saith that 
the Gentiles did commit such abominations, for which He 
would cast them out before the children of Israel." — "What 
a Witch is, and the Antiquities of Witchcraft," a.d, 1612. 

^ See note to this effect on page 152. 


who, in the face of warnings, continued to practise 
such forbidden arts, were to be punished by death. 

It is equally clear from certain of the Epistles of 
the Apostles of our Blessed Lord, that the fact of 
Witchcraft and Necromancy being commonly prac- 
tised by Pagan nations was not only perfectly well 
known ^ to the guides and rulers of the Christian 

* The following passage, from a sermon by the late Canon 
Melville, bears out the above statement : — " It is unnecessary 
for us to inquire what those arts may have been in which the 
Ephesians are said to have greatly excelled. There seems no 
reason for doubting that, as we have already stated, they 
were of the nature of magic, sorcery, or witchcraft ; though 
we cannot profess accurately to define what such terms 
might import. The Ephesians, as some in all ages have 
done, probably laid claim to intercourse with invisible beings, 
and professed to derive from that intercourse acquaintance 
with, and power over, future events. And though the very 
name of witchcraft be now held in contempt, and the sup- 
position of communion with evil spirits scouted as a fable of 
what are called the dark ages, we own that we have difficulty 
in believing that all which has passed by the names of magic 
and sorcery may be resolved into sleight of hand, deception, 
and trick. The visible world and the invisible are in very 
close contact : there is, indeed, a veil on our eyes, preventing 
our gazing on spiritual beings and things, but we doubt not 
that whatsoever passes upon earth is open to the view of 
higher and immaterial creatures. And as we are sure that a 
man of piety and prayer enlists good angels on his side and 
engages them to perform towards him the ministrations of 
kindness, we know not why there cannot be such a thing as a 
man whose wickedness has caused his being abandoned by 
the Spirit of God, and who, in this his desertion, has thrown 
open to evil angels the chambers of his soul, and made 
himself so completely their instmment, that they may use 


Church, but was again formally forbidden by those 
who were left to teach in the Name and on behalf of 
their Lord and Master. Nothing, in fact, can be 
more certain than that the Apostles condemned and 
prohibited the consultation of, or intercourse with, 
either the spirits of the departed or evil angels. 

Here a few remarks defining and setting forth the 
principle on which such unlawful arts were authori- 
tatively prohibited, may reasonably follow. 

By the very act of his profession the Christian 
allows the co-existence in the World of two distinct 
and separable orders, — the Natural, which governs 
the physical and moral laws of the world, and the 
Supernatural, which, according to God's Revelation, 
gradually unfolded and duly developed, governs the 
moral laws of man. The object of man's faith is 
mystery, certain in itself, but above human intelli- 
gence. He yields the homage of his will not only 
to a God Who is the Great Creator and Preserver 
of the world and of all that therein is, but renders 
it to a God Who is the Repairer and Restorer of the 
human race by the Incarnation of the Eternal 
Word, and the Sanctifier of souls. This super- 
natural order, then, was not only known and esta- 
blished in the earth by other supernatural facts, but 

him in the uttering or working strange things, which shall 
have all the air of prophecy or miracle." — " Sermons on 
certain of the less prominent facts and references in Sacred 
Story." By Henry Melville, D.D. In two volumes. London: 
Rivingtons, 1872. Vol. i. pp. 57, 58. 


the visible testimony of Nature to the invisible 
order superior to and above Nature, was from time 
to time, and when necessary, abundantly made 
manifest. The Supernatural, then,- exists in the 
World to lead men to God. Everything, therefore, 
that rises up in opposition to the Supernatural and 
mars the true, idea of it, of necessity turns man 
away from God. The World, the Flesh, and the 
Devil, each and all (as Christian experience by 
temptation testifies,) effect this most successfully. 

The World, which has been defined as "the re- 
bellion of the reason against God," scorns to accept 
miracles and mysteries, and boldly denies the ex- 
istence both of angels and fallen spirits — scoffing at 
and repudiating the idea of Witchcraft or Necro- 
mancy, which it craftily characterizes as " the foolish 
and ignorant superstitions of a dark age." Further- 
more, the World admits of no truth superior to the 
human intellect, of no law which restricts what is 
called " human liberty " or the " rights of man ; " 
and absolutely refuses to acknowledge in the domain 
of facts anything which oversteps those fixed rules 
which it alone chooses to recognize in the govern- 
ment of Nature. 

The Flesh tends to degrade man to the level of 
the beasts, with whom he has in common notable 
tendencies and powerful passions. To the carnal 
man, who is at enmity with God, the very term 
" Supernatural " is a word void both of meaning and 
efficacy. His motto is, " Let us eat and drink, for 


to-morrow we die : " his conviction, as far as he 
may be said to have any, is that his own soul is 
nothing more than "a force which has its origin in 
matter itself," and which, by consequence, shares 
its destruction; while his God is simply either "a 
stream of tendency, by which all things tend to 
fulfil the law of their being," or "a substance im- 
manent in the universe." ' 

Thirdly, the Devil, through hatred both of God 
and man, strives in every way to substitute himself 
for God in this World, He is the Prince of the 
Powers of the air. He is stronger and more know- 
ing than man. His intellect is clearer and finer. 
Moreover, his kingdom is powerful ; his spiritual 
auxiliaries are numerous ; his allies on earth, of all 
kinds, in the flesh, are multitudinous. The deeds 
which he delights that men should do are perfectly 
well known.^ By counterfeiting genuine prodigies 
and true revelations, therefore, he draws men into 
the deadly meshes of a degrading and damnable 
superstition, by means of a delusive and lying 
supernaturalism. And the mischief resulting from 
such an active and successful policy is by no 

' The above definitions are taken from the hterary produc- 
tions of certain of the most recent " philosophers " and 
''thinkers'" already referred to in the text. 

■ " The works of the flesh are manifest, which are these : 
adultery, fornication, uncleanncss, lasciviousness, idolatry, 
witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, sedi- 
tions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, 
and such like." Galat. v. 19-21. 


means on the wane, if they are not surely on the in- 
crease, in these dangerous latter days. True that in 
England the laws against Witchcraft are abolished,' 
but history, fairly consulted and faithfully read, 
tells us that not a century has elapsed since the 
commencement of the Christian era without its 
demoniacal apparitions and certain examples of 
Necromancy and Witchcraft. While this is so, of 
course no intention is entertained by the Editor of 
denying the common belief of the Universal Church, 
that by and through the Incarnation and Sacrifice 
of the Ever-Blessed Son of God the powers and 
influence of the Enemy of souls have been materially 
and efficiently crippled.^ 

' This took place in England in the year 1736, in the 
teeth of the protests of many, who felt that a modification of 
laws founded on an explicit principle of Scripture would have 
been both wiser and safer than their total and absolute 
abolition. Amongst others, Mr. John Wesley wrote and 
preached to this effect. Quite recently a distinguished 
Liberal statesman remarked that if the practices of the so- 
called " Spiritualists " still developed, as for some time they 
had been developing, some re-enactment of the laws against 
Witchcraft might become necessary. It certainly seems one- 
sided and unfair that ignorant women should be punished for 
" fortune-telling," and that the paid professional mediums 
should go scot free. 

'^ The following bears out the remarks in the text : — " The 
influence of Christianity upon magic could not be small ; 
material changes would undoubtedly be brought about through 
its influence. ... At the epoch of Christ's appearance, faith 
in demons, and particularly in evil spirits, was not only 
general amongst the heathen, but also among the Jews to an 


Having thus digressed for an obvious purpose, it 
is now needful to return to the particular subject of 
this section, upon which some light will, in due 
course, be found to have been thrown, by the above 
brief expositions of principles ; in the consideration 
and by the aid of which the strange facts and 
singular records which follow will appear in their 
proper place, when the important subject of the 
Supernatural, as brought out, incident upon inci- 
dent, by historical records and authentic accounts, 
is under consideration. 

That Witchcraft and Necromancy were publicly 
recognized as facts by the Fathers of the Christian 
Church is indisputable ; while the existence of an 
order of ministers known as " exorcists," acting 
from time to time, as occasion required or necessity 
demanded, in casting out evil spirits, is a sufficient 
proof of the watchful care and beneficent action of 
the Universal Church, at once authoritative, inde- 
fectible, and divine.^ 

incredible extent ; and unbounded powers, even as great as 
those of the Divinity, were ascribed to them, which not only 
were supposed to influence the mind, but also Nature and 
physical life." — Ennemoser's " History of Magic." Translated 
by W. Howitt. London, 1854. Vol. i., pp. 340, 341. One 
particular fact may be here put upon record, as being, to say 
the least, more than remarkable : To the Roman Emperor 
Augustus, who, according to Suidas and Nicephorus, sent to 
a renowned Oracle to inquire what successor he should have, 
it was answered, " Tlie Hebrew Child, IVhoin all the gods obey, 
drives 7iie hence." No other response was vouchsafed. 

' The Editor is indebted to the Rev. Dr. Littledale for the 


In 1484, Pope Innocent VIII. issued a Bull 
against Witchcraft, upon the promulgation of 
which, treatises were drawn up for the guidance of 
local bishops, chancellors, and other ecclesiastical 
officials, in the necessary labour of bringing har- 
dened offenders to justice. This Bull was renewed 
in the latter part of the fifteenth century, by Pope 
Alexander VI., so that the subject of Witchcraft 
gained unusual attention about that period. 

As a matter of fact, it is computed that in the 
year 15 15, no less than five hundred witches were 
burnt in Geneva alone, and the same was the case 
in other parts of Christendom, — a proof at once of 
the craft and power of Satan, and of the demorali- 
zation of those who had deliberately elected to 
become his servants and slaves. The earliest statute 
against Witchcraft enacted in England, was passed 
in the reign of King Henry VI. ; and additional 
laws of great stringency and severity, sorely 
needed, were enacted under the Tudors, by Henry 
VIII., Queen Elizabeth, and James I. In the 
year 1604, the great Act of Parliament against 

following note : — " There is an authorized Form of Exorcism 
in the Greek ' Euchologion.' It begins with the Trisagion, 
and Psalms, Domine exaudz, Dominus regit me, Dommus 
illuminatio mea, Exiirgat Deus, Miserere, Domine ne in furore, 
and Domine exmtdi precem. Then follows the Consolatory 
Canon, with a long Hymn addressed to our Blessed Lord, the 
Blessed Virgin Mar}', and All Saints. At the close of this the 
priest anoints the patient, saying a brief prayer over him, and 
so the office closes." See also Appendix to Chapter iii. pp. 


Witchcraft, drawn up by Coke and Bacon, was 
passed; and it is asserted that no less than twelve 
bishops attended the Committee of the House of 
Lords when the Bill was under discussion. Sir 
Matthew Hale and Sir Thomas Browne, men of 
high legal and literary rank and mark, each gave 
evidence at the trials which speedily followed. In 
this particular, as in some others, England followed 
Geneva. Between the years 1565 and 1700, eleven 
wizards or sorcerers were burnt at the stake in the 
Carrefour du Bordage, in Guernsey, the square 
devoted by the city authorities of that island to 
this kind of punishment. The last case of death 
for Witchcraft there took place in 1747. 

It may here be put on record that at the period 
of the Reformation, and during the succeeding 
century, the power of casting out devils was claimed 
exclusively by those who remained in visible com- 
munion with the See of Rome, and many Roman 
Catholic writers of those periods maintained that 
no such power belonged either to any teacher of 
heresy or to schismatics.^ But many of the Puri- 
tans, knowing that the act of exorcism, like 
baptism, was not essentially a sacerdotal act (for if 
baptism may be validly confirmed by a deacon, 
it may, with equal validity, be bestowed by a 

' John Selden, in his " Table Talk," in the article upon 
" Devils," somewhat scoffingly asserts that the Roman Catho- 
lics affirm that " the Protestants the Devil hath already, and 
the Papists are so holy, he dares not meddle with them." 


layman), maintained the power to be inherent in 
any Christian man (with right disposition and follow- 
ing recognized and authorized rules) of casting out 
evil spirits ; and, in consequence,' declined alto- 
gether to repudiate the clear and plain records and 
statements of Holy Scripture concerning Witch- 
craft and Necromancy. They therefore made seve- 
ral attempts to secure the official authorization of 
a form for exorcism, framed after the old and cus- 
tomary rite, to be printed in the " Book of Common 
Prayer." This, however, was never done. But in 
1604 the subject was duly considered, and deter- 
mined upon in the seventy-second Canon, which, 
as has been already pointed out, properly and 
stringently forbad to the clergy the practice of 
exorcism without a special license or faculty from 
the Bishop of the diocese. 

As to the facts of Witchcraft and Necromancy, it 
is quite impossible to deny their existence. Re- 
cords of the plainest character, legal evidence and 
literary testimony of undisputed authority,^ may 
be discovered, which very luminously set forth 
what was believed on the subject ; and this not. 
alone by the ignorant, but by the learned and well- 
informed. The only difficulty is to make a suitable 
selection from that evidence which so abundantly 
exists ; being careful that such selection shall not 

' " The Question of Witchcraft debated." By John Wag- 
staffe. London : 1669. Second edition, 1671. 


set forth merely one aspect of the subject, but 
several, and leaving each account to tell its own 
story. This it is now proposed briefly to attempt. 

For example, in the year 1599, a girl named 
Martha Brossier, of Romorantin, in Berry, was 
reputed to be possessed, and excited a considerable 
sensation in Paris. At the suggestion of the then 
Bishop of Paris, the King ordered a Committee 
composed of the most eminent physicians, to 
examine and report on her case. The physicians 
appointed were Marescot, Ellain, Haulin, Riolan, 
and Duet ; and their Report, which is exceedingly 
curious, will be found translated into English by 
Abraham Hartwell, and published towards the 
close of the sixteenth century.^ The dedication to 
his Majesty proceeds thus : — 

" Sire, by the commandment of Your Majestic, we 
have set down briefely and truly that which wee 
have found in our visiting of Martha Brossier .... 
We present the same unto Your Majestic without 
any art, without any painted show, without any 
flourish, but with a naked Simplicitie, the faithful 
companion of Truth, which you have desired from us 
in this matter and which you have always loved and 
curiously sought." The Report then continues : 
"We the undersigned Doctors Regents in the facultie 

' " A True Discourse upon the Matter of Martha Brossier, 
of Romorantin," translated out of French into Enghsh, by 
Abraham HartwelL London : imprinted for John Wolfe. 


of physicke in the Universitie of Paris, touching the 
matter of Martha Brossier, a maide of the age of 
two-and-twenty yeres or thereabouts, born at Romo- 
rantin in Berry, who was brought unto us in the 
chappel of my Lord of Saint Genefue [Genevieve], 
and who we saw sometimes in constitution, counte- 
nance and speech as a person sounde of bodie and 

minde, do say in our consciences, and 

certify that which followeth : that all which is before 
set down (referring to the character of her fits) must 
be referred to one of these three causes — sicknesse, 
counterfeiting, or diabolicall possession. For the 
opinion that it proceedeth from sicknesse, we are 
clerely excluded from that, for the agitations and 
motions we observed therein doe retain nothing of 
the nature of sickness, nay not of those diseases 
whereunto of the first sight they might have re- 
sembled ; it being neither an epilepsie or falling 
sickness, which always supposes the loss of sense 
and judgment, nor the passion which we call' hy- 
sterica, nor any of the foure motions pro--- 

ceeding from diseases, that is to say, shivering, 
trembling, panting, and convulsion, or indeede if 
there doe appeare any convulsion ; and that a man 
will so call the turning up of her eyes, the gnashing 
of her teeth, the writhing of her chaps (which are 
almost ordinarie with this maide while she is in 
her fittes) ; the confidence which the priest hath when 
he openeth her mouth, and holdeth it open with his 
finger within it, testifying sufficiently that they doe 


not proceede from, nor are caused by, any disease, 
considering that in diseases he that hath a convul- 
sion is not master of that part or member wherein 
it is, having neither any power of election or com- 
mand over it, and particularly which is in the con- 
vulsion of the jawes, which is most violent of all the 
rest, the finger of the priest should bee no more 
respected nor spared than the finger of any other 
man. Moreover, diseases, and the motions also of 
diseases (especially those that are violent), leave the 
body feeble, the visage pale, and the breath panting. 
This maide, at the end of her fittes, was found to 
be as little moved and changed in pulse, colour, 
countenance, and breath, as ever she was before ; 
yea, which is the more to be noted, as little at the 
end of her exorcisme as at the beginning, at even- 
ing as in the morning, at the last day as at the 
first. Touching the point of counterfeiting, the 
insensibilitie of her bodie during her extasies and 
furies, tried by the deepe prickings of long pinnes, 
which were thrust into divers parts of her hands, 
and afterwards plucked out againe, without any 
show that ever she made of feeling the same, either 
in the putting in of them, or the taking out of 
them, a griefe which, without majicke and without 
speech, could not, in our opinion, be indured, with- 
out any countenance or show thereof, neither by 
the constancie of the most courageous, nor by the 
stoutnesse of the most wicked, nor by the stronge 
conceit of the most criminall malefactores, took 


from us almost the suspicion of it, but much more 
persuaded us from that opinion, the thin and slen- 
der foam that in her mad fits we saw issue out of 
her mouth, which she had no means to be abel to 
counterfeit. And yet more than all this, the very 
consideration before mentioned of the little or no 
change at all that was seene in her person after all 
these most sharpe and very long pangs, (a thing 
which nobody in the world did ever trie in their 
most moderate exercises,) we are driven, even till this 
houre, by all the lawes of discourse and knowledge, 
yea, and almost forced to beleeve that this maide is 
a demoniacke, and the Devill dwelling in her is the 
Author of these effects. If wee had seen that which 
my Lord of St. Genefue and many others doe re- 
port, — that this maide was lifted up into the ayre 
more than four foote above five or six strong per- 
sons that held her, — it would have been an argu- 
ment to us of an extraordinarie power, over and 
beyond the common nature and condition of man. 
But not being presente at that wonder, we doe give 
a testamonie of our knowledge, which is as much or 
rather more admirable than that force and power 
was, viz., that being demanded, and in her exercis- 
ing commanded, my Lord of Paris furnishing the 
priest with questions and interrogatories, this maide 
divers and sundrie times, by many persons of qua- 
litie and worthie of credit, was seene and heard to 
obey and answere to purpose, not only in the Latin 
tongue, (wherein it had not been impertinent perad- 


venture to have suspected some collusion,) but also 
in Greeke and in English, and that upon the sudden. 
She did, we say once againe, understande the 
Greeke and English languages, wherein we beleeve, 
as it is very likely that she was never studied, so 
that there was no collusion used with her, neither 
could she invent or imagine the interpretations 
thereof. It resteth, therefore, even in the judgment 
of Aristotle in the like case, that they were inspired 
unto her." The Report then concludes with this 
solemn declaration : " By reason whereof, and con- 
sidering also, under correction, that Saint Luke, 
who was both a physician and an evangelist, de- 
scribing the persons out of whose bodies our Lord 
and his apostles did drive the devils left unto us, none 
other or any greater signes than those which wee 
think wee have seene in this case, wee are the more 
induced and almost confirmed to beleeve and to 
conclude as before, taking God for a Witness of our 
consciences in the matter. Made at Paris, this 
3rd April, 1599." 

On this Report, as may be gathered from the 
tractate referred to, it is evident and notorious that 
the physicians Marescot, Ellain, Haulin, Riolan, 
and Duet, were all men of scientific attainments and 
unimpeachable moral integrity ; the same facts were 
also witnessed and formally attested by the Bishop 
of Paris, the Abbot of Genevieve, and other com- 
petent observers. 

Another case, that of a girl named Anne Millner, 


or Mylner, of Chester, about the year 1564, de- 
serves consideration. The record here given is 
taken from a pamphlet of considerable interest.^ 
Some curious facts connected with it are attested 
by Sir William Calverley, Sir William Sneyd, 
Lady Calverley, and other persons of distinction 
who then lived at Chester. The description of the 
paroxysm is extremely graphic : — " We went," says 
the Report, which is signed by the above-named per- 
sons, " at about two of the clocke in the afternoone 
of the same i6th day of February and there found 
the mayden in her traunce, after her accustomed 
manner lying in a bed within the haule, her eyes 
half shut, half open, looking as she had been agast, 
never moving either eye or eyelid, her teeth some- 
thing open, with her tongue doubling betweene, her 
face somewhat red, her head as heavy as leade to 
lift at ; there she laid, still as a stone, and feeling her 
pulse it beat in as good measure as if she had been 
in perfect health." The Report then describes her 
becoming violently convulsed : "She lifted herself 
up in her bed, bending backwards in such order that 
almost her head and fete met, falling down on the 
one side, then on the other." A person of the name 
of Lane, who was reputed to possess great power 

' " The Copy of a Letter describing the Wonderful Worke of 
God in delyviring a maydene within the city of Chester from 
a horrible kind of torment or sicknesse, 16 February anno 
1564." Imprinted at London for John Judely, dwelling in 
Little Britayne Street beyond Aldersgate, 23 March 1564. 


over demoniacs, was then called in, who first, as the 
Report expresses it, "^willed" that she should speak, 
and then " willed " that she should rise and dress 
herself, all which she did, to the astonishment of the 
bystanders ; and a Certificate to that effect was 
signed by all present on March 8, 1564. 

In Lancashire seven persons belonging to one 
family were reputed to be under the direct influence 
of evil spirits, or in a certain state of bewitchment, 
exhibiting signs of demoniacal possession. The 
pamphlet, the title of which is given below,^ puts on 
record what in this case is reported to have occurred : 
"These possessed persons had everyone something 
peculiar to herselfe which none of the rest did shew, 
and that so rare andstraunge that all the people were 
obliged to confesse it was the worke of an evil spirit 
within them ; so had they many things in common, 
and were handled for the most part in their fittes 

alike They had all every one very straunge 

visions, they heard hideous and fearful voices of 
spirits sundrie times and did make marvellous 

answers back againe they were in their 

fits ordinarilie holden in that captivity and bondage, 
that for an houre, two, or three, and longer time they 

' "A Briefe and True Discourse, contayning the certayne 
possession and dispossession of seven persons in one f;imilie, 
in Lancashire." By George More, Minister and Preacher of 
the Word, and now (for bearing witness unto this, and for jus- 
tifying the rest,) a prisoner at the CHnks, where he hath con- 
tinued ahnost for two yeares. A.D. 1600. 


should neither see, heare, nor taste, nor feel nothing 
but the divells, they employing them wholly for them 
selves, vexing and tormenting them so extreameley 
as that for the present they could feel no other paine 
or torture that could bee offered ; no, though you 
should plucke an ear from the heade or an arm from 
the bodie. They had also a marvellous sore heaving 
as if their hearts would burst, so that with violent 
straining some of them vomitted bloude many times. 
They were all of them verry fierce, offering violence 
both to themselves and others, whereinethey shewed 
verie greate and extraordinarie strength. They were 
out of their right mind, without the use of their 
senses, expecially voyd of felling : as much sense in 
a stock as one of them, or as possible, in a manner, 
to quicken a dead man as to alter or chaunge them 
in their traunces in anything they either saide or 
did. They in their fittes had divers parts and 
members of their bodies so striffe and stretched out 
as were inflexible or very hard to be bended. They 
shewed very great and extraordinarie knowledge, as 
may appeare by the straunge things saide and done 
by them, according to that which we have already 
set down in the particulars. They ever after their 
fittes were as well as might be, and felt very little 
or no paine at all, although they had been never 
so sore tormented immediately before." 

The strange and singular violence of the convul- 
sions in those who were under the influence of 
Witchcraft, is brought out in almost all the records 


of such cases, notably in those which occurred 
during the Great Rebelhon/ and specially in the 
case of Anne Styles, who was executed at Salis- 
bury in 1653. 

The narrative states that she was so strong in her 
fits that six men or more could not hold her, but 
while suffering under most grievous hurrying and 
tortures of the body, the witch being only brought 
into the room, she fell asleep and slept for three 
hours, so fast that when they would have awakened 
her they could not.^ The insensibility of the body 
in this state, we are informed by Increase Mather, 
led to a cruel test for demoniacal possession. 
There was a notorious Witchfinder, he observes, " in 
Scotland, who undertook by a pin to make an in- 
fallible discovery of suspected persons, whether they 
were witches or not. If, when the pin w^as run an 
inch or two into the body of the accused party no 

' It is asserted by several authorities that no less than 
three thousand persons were executed for Witchcraft during 
that dark period of heretical pravity, the Great Rebellion. 
Now, as " Rebellion," according to the express assurance of 
the Prophet Samuel (i Sam. xv. 23) "is as the sin of Witch- 
craft," no hearty believer in God's revelation can be at all 
surprised to find that both Witchcraft and Rebellion in an 
atmosphere of heresy flourished together, under that odious 
tyrant and hj-pocritical fiinatic, Oliver Cromwell : when the 
altar was thrown down and both King and Archbishop were 

* " An Antidote against Atheism : or an Appeal to the 
Natural Faculties of the Mind of Man." By Henry More, 
Fellow of Christ's College, Cambridge. 1655, 


blood appeared nor any sense of pain, he declared 
them to be witches, by means of which no less than 
three hundred persons were condemned for witch- 
craft in that country."^ 

In a small but curious tractate entitled " Daimo- 
nomagia," the effects of Witchcraft are maintained 
to be a disease. The definition of it stands thus : — 
" A disease of witchcraft is a sickness that arises 
from strange and preternatural causes, and from 
diabolical power in the use of strange and ridi- 
culous ceremonies by witches or necromancers, 
afflicting with strange and unaccustomed symp- 
toms, and commonly preternaturally violent, very 
seldom, or not at all, curable by natural remedies." 
Then follow the diagnostical signs, amongst which 
are insensibility, convulsions, together with a pre- 
ternatural knowledge both of living and dead lan- 
guages, and after these the causes of witchcraft. 
Biernannus and Wierius, two authorities on the sub- 
ject, find that aspect and contact do not necessarily 
bewitch ; but witches sometimes try to bewitch 
another of the same family. Lastly, as regards 
the cure, directions are provided by which the 
wizard, witch, or necromancer is to be compelled 
to use certain dark ceremonies for the cure of the 

In the year 1658, a woman named Jane Brookes 

' " Cases of Conscience concerning Evil Spirits personating 
Men." By Increase Mather. Printed at Boston, and reprinted 
in London for John Button at the Raven in the Poultry, 1693. 


was tried, condemned, and executed at Chard in 
Somersetshire. The indictment against her was 
that she had bewitched Richard the son of Henry- 
Jones, of Shepton Mallet in that county. Num- 
berless persons of all ranks and classes, including 
both clergymen and physicians, witnessed his suffer- 
ings and paroxysms ; while the direct influence of 
the woman indicted was fully apparent and abun- 
dantly proved. " The boy," as the Rev. Joseph 
Glanville,^ one of the chaplains of King Charles 11. 
writes, " fell into his fitts at the sight of Jane 
Brookes and lay in a man's arms like a dead per- 
son ; the woman was then willed to lay on her 
hand, which she did, and he thereupon started and 
sprung out in a very unusual manner. One of the 
Justices, to prevent all possibilities of legerdemain, 
caused Gibson and the rest to stand off from the 
boy, and then that justice himself held him. The 
youth being blindfolded, the justice called as if 
Brookes should touch him, but winked to others to 
do it, which two or three successively did, but the 
boy appeared not concerned. The justice then 
called on the father to take him, but had privately 
before desired one Mr. Geoffrey Strode to bring 
Jane Brookes to touch him at such a time as he 
should call for his father, which was done, and the 

' " Sadducismus Triumphatus : a Full and Plain Evidence 
concerning Witches and Apparitions." By Joseph Glanville, 
Chaplain in Ordinary to King Charles II. London : 1726. 


boy immediately sprang out after a very odd and 
violent fashion. He was afterwards touched by 
several persons and moved not, but Jane Brookes 
being again caused to put her hand upon him he 
started and sprung up twice as before. All this 
while he remained in his fit and some time after, and 
being then laid on a bed in the same room, the 
people present could not for a long time bow either 
of his arms or legs." 

It appears tolerably evident that the boy, when 
under the influence of his fits, owned a faculty not 
unlike that of clairvoyance. As regards Jane 
Brookes and her sister, Ke seems to have had the 
capacity to describe them accurately wherever they 
might have been. As the Report declares, " He 
would tell the clothes and habits they were in at 
the time, exactly as the constable and others have 
found them on repairing to them, although Brookes' 
house was a good distance from Jones' : this they 
often tried, and always found the boy right in his 
description." ^ 

From the same volume, the main facts of which 
seem to be admitted by competent authority, a 

' A careful deposition as to the above facts was made be- 
ore the Justices of the Peace mentioned, who added the 
following formal attestation : ^' The aforesaid passages [i. e. 
occurrences] were some of them seen by us, and some other 
remarkable ones, not here set down, were upon the examina- 
tion of several witnesses taken on oath before us. 

u /c- A\ S Robert Hunt. 


woman named Elizabeth Style of Bayford was 
indicted for bewitching a girl named Elizabeth 
Hill, thirteen years of age. In this case the formal 
deposition of three credible witnesses attests that 
" during her fits, her strength was encreased be- 
yond the proportion of nature, and the force of 
divers men. Furthermore, in one fit she foretold 
when she would have the next, which happened 

The case of the " Surey Demoniac," as he was 
termed, which was set forth at length in a publica- 
tion issued in London towards the close of the 
seventeenth century,^ is certainly worthy of being 
noticed here. In the year 1697 a youth of nineteen 
years of age, named Richard Dugdale, excited 
great attention ; it being generally believed that he 
was possessed by an evil spirit, as the direct con- 
sequence of Witchcraft. His paroxysms were wit- 
nessed by numerous clergymen, physicians, and 
persons of respectability and rank ; and caused an 
amount of interest and excitement which can 
scarcely be realized.- His fits commenced with 
violent convulsions ; his sight or eyeballs turned 

' " The Surey Dcmoniack ; or, an Account of Satan's 
Strange and Dreadful Actings in and about the Body of 
Richard Dugdale of Surey, near Whalley in Lancashire." 
London : 1697. 

* The following curious extract from a " Coventry News- 
Letter," dated Nov. 2, 1672, certainly tells a wonderful storj-, 
in some respects not unlike that recorded in the text. It 
serves at all events to show what were the popular notions 



upward and backwards ; he afterwards answered 
questions ; predicted during one fit the period of 
accession and duration of another fit ; spoke in 
foreign languages, of which at oth-er times he was 
ignorant, and described events passing at a distance 
with singular and recognized accuracy. Here again 
the word of narration is quoted at length: — "At 
the end of one fi.t the demoniac told what hour of 
the night or day his next [fit] would begin, very 
precisely and punctually, as was constantly ob- 
served, though there was no equal or set distance of 
time between his fits ; betwixt which there would 
be, sometimes a few hours, sometimes many, some- 
times one day, sometimes many days." " He 

concerning occurrences which, to say the least, were very 
remarkable ; and it is reprinted here verbatitn : — 

" All our wonder here about is employ'd at the strange con- 
dition of a maid neare us, one Elizabeth Tibbots of about i8 
yeares of age liveing with her unkle one Thomas Crofts at a 
place cal'd Hust (?) in ye parish of Stonely (Stoneleigh) about 
two miles hence. Ye maid for about this 3 weekes past has 
bene taken with strange fitts in which shee has vomitted up 
severall things incredible, as first severall Peble stones neare 
as big as eggs, knives, sissers, peices of glass some of them 
two or 3 Inches square, peices of Iron, an Iron Bullet of at 
least 8 Inches round, and 2 pound & halfe weight, a black 
drinking pot of neare halfe a pint, peices of cloth & wood, 
a pockett pistoU, a paire of Pincers, Bottoms of yarne and 
severall other things many whereof are now at our majors, 
and have bene evidently scene to come out at her mouth, by 
many credible witnesses, nor should I my sclfe venture to 
give you this Relation, which seemes soe unlike truth, had I 
not my selfe beene an eye wittness, with my most cunning 


would have told you," one of the deponents asserts 
on oath, "when his fits would begin, when they 
were two or three in one day, or three or four days 
asunder, wherein he never was, that the deponent 
knoweth of, disappointed." On one occasion, when 
the minister was addressing him, he exclaimed, 
" At ten o'clock my next fit comes on." "Though he 
was never learned in the English tongue, and his 
natural and acquired abilities were very ordinary, 
yet, when the fit seized him, he often spake Latin, 
Greek, and other languages very well. ... He 
often told of things in his fits done at a distance, 
whilst those things were a-doing, — as, for instance, a 

observation of soe much of it, that I am confirmed in ye 
beleife of the whole, all which is imputed to some diabollicall 
practices of one Watson a Strang kind of an Emperick, to 
whom shee was some tyme a Patient, who had it seemes soe 
wrought with her as that shee had promis'd him marriage, & 
to'goe with him (though shee knew not whither.) But after- 
wards refused it. Immediately upon which shee fell into 
these fitts, yet has shee her respites, dureing which shee 
appeares reasonable well, & I have heard her discourse very 
rationally of her selfe & condition, a full account whereof 
would be too long to give ; 'tis said that for these 4 or 5 
dayes past (in which tyme 1 have not seene her) somewhat 
appeares to her in ye shape of a dogg. Now, whether shee 
be bewicht or whether shee be a witch, or whether ye Divell 
be in her, (as well as some others of her sex,) I know not, but 
that what I have told you seemed to ye most vigilant eye to 
be infallibly true is not doubted, so that if it be not really soe, 
I can onely say the Divell's in't, who you perhaps may fancy 
to be in him that gives you this seemingly incredible Relation, 
which be pleased to accept for better, for worse from," &c. 


woman being afraid to go to the barn, though she 
was come within a bow's length of it, was imme- 
diately sent for by the demoniac, who said, ' Unless 
that weak-faithed jade come, my fits will last 

longer.' Some said, ' Let us send for Mr. G .' 

The demoniac answered, ' He is now upon the hay- 
cart,' which was found to be true. . . , On another 
occasion he told what great distress there was in 
Ireland, and that England must 'pay the piper.' 
Again, one going by him to a church meeting, was 
told by the demoniac in his fit, ' Thou needest not 
go to the said meeting, for I can tell thee the 
sermon that will be preached there,' upon which he 
told him the text and much of the sermon that was 
that day preached." Lastly, it is certified by two 
of the deponents that "the demoniac could not 
certainly judge what the nature of his distemper 
was ; because when he was out of his fits, he 
could not tell how it was with him when he was in 
his fits." 

From another publication ^ we gather that, in the 
case of Florence Newton, an Irishwoman, who was 
charged with bewitching Mary Longdon, when the 
sufferer and the accused were both in court, and 
the evidence against the person charged was being 
concluded, the prisoner at the bar simply looked at 
the woman reputed to be under her influence, and 

' " Witchcraft further Displayed." London : Printed for 
E. Curl at the Dial and Bible. 17 14. 


made certain motions of her hands towards her, 
upon which we are told that "the maid fell into 
most violent fits, so that all the people that could 
lay hands on her could scarcely hold her." 

Quaint as these records are, peculiar in their 
literary style, singularly simple and homely in their 
subject-matter as to details, and tinged, it may be, 
not infrequently with the exaggerated superstitions 
of the times, it is impossible that so many persons 
of all ranks and classes — the highest as well as the 
lowest — eye-witnesses of facts, could have been so 
utterly mistaken as to the Supernatural character of 
Witchcraft, or so deluded as to its true nature and 
import. Some writers have hastily and erroneously 
asserted that at the close of the seventeenth century 
the arraigning and trying of witches came to an 
end. But this is not so.^ In 17 12, Judge Parker 
(who succeeded Chief Justice Holt,) put a check 
upon the so-called " trial by water," by his charge 
at the Essex Summer Assizes of that year. Three 
years later, however, in 1715, Elizabeth Treslar was 
hung and then burnt for Witchcraft on Northampton 

The following account (extracted verbatim et 
literatim) is taken from a rare and curious tract "^ 

' In the " Overseer's Accounts " for the parish of S. Giles, 
Northampton, there is an item for the purchase of faggots for 
the purpose of burning a witch. A.D. 1705. 

* " An Account of the Tryals, Examination, and Condemna- 
tion of Ellinor Shaw & Mary Phillips (Two Notorious Witches) 


published early in the eighteenth century, contain- 
ing an account of the trial, examination, and con- 
demnation of two witches named Shaw and Phillips 
in the year 1705. One or two sentences of the old 
narrative are two coarse for quotation ; but sub- 
stantially the contemporary account is reprinted, 
following its old typographical form : — 

" On Wednesday the 7th of this Instant March 
1705, being the second day of the Assizes held at 
Northampton: One Ellinor Shaw and Mary Phillips^ 

at Northampton Assizes on Wednesday the 7th of March, 
1705, for Bewitching a Woman & Two children, Tormenting 
them in a Sad and Lamentable Manner till they Dyed. With 
an account of their strange Confessions about their Famili- 
arity with the Devil, and How They Made a wicked Contract 
with him to be revenged on several Persons, by Bewitching 
their Cattel to Death, &c. And several other Strange and 
Amasing Particulars." London : Printed for F. Thorne, near 

' The following " Letter" from Mr. Ralph Davis, of North- 
ampton, addressed to Mr. William Simons, merchant in 
London, is reprinted almost verbatim, certain passages, by 
reason of their extreme coarseness, being alone suppressed. It 
was published by Thome, of Fleet Street, in 1 705, and had a 
very large circulation. It is entitled " The Northampton- 
shire Witches : " — 

" According to my word Promise in my last I have sent 
you here Inclosed a faithful Account of the Lives and Con- 
versations of the two notorious Witches that were Executed 
on the North side of our town on Saturday the 17th instant, 
and indeed considering the extraordinary Methods these 
wicked women used to accomplish their Diabolical Art, I 
think it may merit your Reception, and the more since I un- 
derstand you have a friend near Fleete Street who being a 


(two notorious Witches), were brought into court 
and there Arraign'd at the Bar upon several Indict- 
ments of Witchcraft ; particularly for Bewitching 
and Tormenting in a Diabolical manner, the Wife 
of Robert Wise of Benefield in the said County, till 
she Dyed ; as also for Killing by Witchcraft and 
wicked Facination one Elizabeth Gorham of Glap- 
thorn, a Child of about four years of Age, in the 
said County of Northampton ; as also for Bewitch- 
ing to death one Charles Ireland of Southwick in 
the said County ; to which Indictment the two 
said Prisoners pleaded not Guilty and there upon 
put themselves upon their Tryals as follow^eth : — 

" The first Evidence against them was one 
Widdow Peak, who deposed that she with two 
other Women, undertook to Watch the same Pri- 
soners after they had been Apprehended ; and that 
about Midnight there appeared in the Room a 

Printer may make use of it in order to oblige the Publick ; 
which take as followeth ; viz : — 

" To proceed in order, I shall first begin with Ellinor Shaw 
(as being the most notorious of the two) who was Bom at 
Cotterstock within a small Mile of Oundle in Northampton- 
shire, of very obscure Parents, who not wiUing, or at least 
not able, to give their Daughter any manner of Education, 
she was left to shift for her self at the age of 14 years ; at 
which time she got acquainted with a Partener in Wicked- 
ness, one Mar}' PhilUps, Born at Oundle aforesaid, with whom 
she held a frindly Correspondence for several years together, 
and work'd very hard for a Livelihood ; but when she arriv'd 
to the age of 2 1 she began to be a very lude [lewd] sort of a 
Person which wicked and loathsom Actions were 


little white Thing about the Bigness of a Cat, which 
sat upon Mary Phillips' Lap, at which time she 
heard her, the said Mary Phillips, say, then pointing 
to EUinor Shaw, that she was the Witch that Killed 
Mrs. Wise by Roasting her Effiges in Wax, sticking 
it full of Pinns, and till it was all wasted, and all 
this she afifirm'd was done the same Night Mrs. 
Wise Dyed in a sad and languishing Condition. 
Mrs. Evans deposed that when Mrs. Wise first was 
taken 111, that she saw Ellinor Shaw look out at the 
Window (it being opposite to her House), at Which 
time she heard her say, ' I have done her Business 
now I am sure ; this Night 111 send the old Devil 
a New Year's Gift (next day being New year's Day), 
and well knowing this Ellinor Shaw to be a reputed 
Witch, was so much concern'd at her Words that 
she went then to see how Mrs. Wise did, Where 

not only talked of in the Town of Cotterstock where she was 
Born but at Oundle, Glapthorne, Benefield, Southwick and 
several Parts adacent ; and that as well by Children of four or 
five years of Age as persons of riper years ; so that by degrees 
her Name became so famous or rather infamous that she could 
hardly peep out of her Door but the Children would point at 

her in a Scoffing manner [so] that she Swore she 

would be revenged on her enemies tho' she pawn'd her Soul 
for the Purchase ; and then Mary Phillips being her Partner 
in Knitting and Bedfellow also, who was as bad as herself in 
the Vices aforesaid, she communicated her Thoughts to her, 
relating to a Contract with the Devil, in order to have the 

Wills of those who Slandered them In fine as 

these two Harlots agreed in their other Wickedness so they 


she found her Tormented with such Pains, as 
exceeding those of a Woman in Travel, which En- 
creased to such a terrible Degree that she Expired 
about 12 of the clock to the great amascment of all 
her Neighbours. 

" Another Evidence made Oath that Ellinor Shaw 
and Mary Phillips being one day at her house they 
told her she was a Fool to live so Miserable as she 
did, and therefore if she was willing, they would 
send some thing that Night that would Relieve 
her, and being an ignorant Woman she consented ; 
and accordingly the same Night two little black 
Things, almost like Moles came into her bed . . . 
repeating the same for two or three Nights after, 
till she was almost frightened out of her Sences 
[sic] insomuch that she was forced to send for Mr. 
Danks the Minister, to Pray by her several nights 

were resoly'd to go Hand in Hand in this, and consequently 
go to the Devil together for Company, but out of a Hellish 
kind of Civility he saved them that Trouble at present, for . . 
.... he immediately waited upon 'em to obtain his Booty 
on Saturday the 12th of February 1704 about 12 a Clock at 
Night according to their own Confessions, appearing in the 
shape of a black tall Man, at whose approach they were very 
much startled at first, but taking Ellinor Shaw by the Hand 
he spoke thus — Says he. Be not afraid, of me for I am one of 
the Creation as well as your selves, having power given me to 
bestow it on whom I please, and do assure you that if you will 
pawn your Souls to me for only a Year and two Months I 
will for all that time assist you in whatever you desire. Upon 
which he produced a little piece of Parchment on which by 


before the said Imps would leave her : She also 
added that she heard the said Prisoners say that 
they would be Revenged on Mrs. Wise because she 
would not give them some Buttermilk. 

" Mrs. Todd of Southwick deposed that Charles 
Ireland being a Boy of about 12 years of Age, was 
taken with Strange Fitts about Christmas last, 
continuing so by Intervals till twelf Day last, at 
which time he Barked like a Dogg, and when he 
was Recovered and come to himself, he would 
Distinctly describe Ellinor Shaw and Mary Phillips, 
affirming them two to be the Authors of his Mis- 
fortunes, though he never saw them in his Life ; so 
that Mrs. Ireland, the Boy's mother, was advised 

to Cork up some in a stone Bottle filled 

full of Pins and Needles, and to Bury it under the 
Fire Hearth ; which being done accordingly, the 

their Consents having prick't their Fingers' ends, he wrote 
the Infernal Covenants in their own Blood which they signed 

with their own Hands and the same Night In the 

Morning he told them they were now as substantial Witches 
as any were in the world, and that they had power by the as- 
sistance of the Imps that he would send them to do what 
Mischief they pleased. 

" I shall not trouble you with what is already mention'd in 
the Tryals of these two persons because it is in print by your 
Friend already but only instance what was omitted in that as 
not having room here to contain it altogether but as to their 
general confessions after their Condemnations, take as fol- 
loweth : — 

" The day before they were Executed, Mr. Danks the 


two said Witches could not be quiet till they came 
to the same House and desired to have the said 
Bottle taken up, which was not granted, till they 
had confessed the Matter, and promised never to 
do so again ; but for all this the Next night but 
one, the said Boy was so violently Handled, that 
he Dyed in two Hours time ; and this Woman's 
Testimoney was confirm'd by five or six other 
Evidences at the same time. 

" The said Witches were Try'd a third time for 
Bewitching to Death Elizabeth Gorham of Glap- 
thorne on the loth of February last, as also for 
killing several Horses, Hogs, and Sheep, being the 
Goods of Matthew Gorham, Father of the said 
Child aforesaid. The Evidence against them to 
prove all this, was William Boss and John South- 
wel ; who deposed that being Constables of the said 

Minister visited them in Prison, in order if possible to bring 
them to a State of Repentance, but seeing all pious Discourse 
prov'd ineffectual, he desired them to tell him what mis- 
cheivous Pranks they had Play'd and what private Conference 
they had with the Devil from time to time, since they had 
made that fatal Bargain with him : To which EUinor Shaw 
with the Consent of the other told him that the Devil in the 
Shape of a tall black Man appear'd several times to them 
and at every visit would present them with new Imps some of 
a Red Coulour others of a Dun and the' third of a black 

Colour and that by the Assistance of these Hellish 

Animals they often Kill'd Men Women and Children to the 
great surprise of all the towns thereabouts ; she further 
adding that it was all the Delight they had to be doing such 


Town, they were Charged with the said Prisoners 
in their Custody, who threatning them with Death 
if they did not Confess, and promising them to let 
them go if they would Confess ; after some little 
Whineing and Hanging about one another's Necks 
they both made this Confession : — 

" ' That living in one house together they con- 
tracted with the Devil about a Year ago to 
sell their Souls to him, upon condition he would 
enable them to do what Mischief they desired 
against whom they pleased, either in Body, 
Goods, or Children ; upon which the same Night 
they had each of them three Imps sent them 
as they were going to Bed, and at the same 
instant the Devil appeared to them in the shape 
of a tall black Man, and told them that these 
Imps would always be at their Service, either 

wicked Actions and they had Kil'd by their Inchantments 
and Witchcraft in the space of nine Months time 15 children 
eight Men and six Women tho' none was suspected of being 
Bewitch'd but those two Children, said the Woman, that 
they Dy'd for ; and that they had Bewitch'd to Death in the 
same Space of Time 40 Hoggs of several poor People, besides 
100 Sheep, 18 Horses, and 30 Cows, even to the utter Ruin 
of several Families : As to their particular Intreagues and 
waggish tricks I have not Room to enumerate, they are so 
many ; only some remarkable Feats they did in Prison which 
was thus, viz : — one Day Mr. Laxon and his wife coming by 
the Prison had the Curiosity to look through the Grates and 
seeing of EUinor Shaw told_,her that now the Devil had left 
her in the Lurch, as he had done the rest of his Servants ; 


to kill Man, Woman, Child, Hog, Cow, Ship, \i.c. 
Sheep] or any other Creature, when they pleased 
to command them, provided .... which being 
agree'd to, the Devil came to Bed to them 

Both And that the next morning they 

sent four of their Imps to kill two Horses of 
one John Webb of the said Town of Glapthorne, 
because he openly said they were Witches ; 
and accordingly the Horses were found dead 
in a Pond the same day ; and two Days 
after this, they Kill'd four great Hoggs after 
the same manner, belonging to Matthew Gor- 
ham, because he said they both look'd like 
Witches, and not thinking this Revenge suffi- 
cient, the next day after, they sent two Imps 
a piece to destroy his Child, being a little Girle 
of about four years of Age, which was done 

upon which the said EUinor was observ'd to Mutter strangely 
to herself in an unknown Language for about two Minutes ; 
at the end of which Mr. Laxon's Wife's Cloathes were all 
tum'd over her head Smock and all in a most strange manner 

notwithstanding all the Endeavours her Husband 

could use to keep her Cloathes in order ; at which the said 
EUinor having Laughed Heartily and told her She had prov'd 
her Lyer, her Cloathes began to come to their right order 
again. The keeper of the Prison having one Day Threatened 
them with Irons, they, by their Spells, caused him to Dance 
almost an Hour Naked in the Yard to the Amazement of 
the Prison : nay, such Pranks were Play'd by them during 
their Continement that no one durst give them an ill Word, 
insomuch that their Execution was the more hastened in the 


accordingly in 24 Hours' time, notwithstanding 
all the Skill and Endeavour of able Doctors to 
preserve it. They further confessed that if the 
said Imps were not constantly imploy'd to do 
Mischief they had not their Healths, but when 
they were imploy'd they were very Healthful 
and Well They further added, that the said 
Imps did often tell them in the Night-time 
in a hollow whispering low voice, which they 
plainly understood, that they should never feel 
Hell Tormets, and they had Kill'd a Horse 
and two Cows of one Widow Broughton 
because she deny'd them some Pea-cods last 
year, for which they had also struck her 
Daughter with Lameness, which would never 
be cured as long as either of them Liv'd, and 
accordingly she had continued so ever since.' 

regard of their frequent Disturbances and great Mischief 
they did in several places of the Town notwithstanding their 

" They were so hardened in their Wickedness that they 
Publickly boasted that their Master (meaning the Devil) 
would not suffer them to be Executed ; but they found him 
[a] Lyer ; for on Saturday Morning being the 17th instant 
they were carried to the Gallows on the Northside of the 
Town whither numerous Crowds of people went to see them 
Die, and being come to the place of Execution the Minister 
repeated his former pious endeavours to bring them to a 
sense of their Sins but to as little purpose as before ; for in- 
stead of calling on God for Mercy nothing was heard from 
them but D g and Cursing. However a little before they 


" The above said Evidence further deposed that 
having thus extorted the said Confession from the 
prisoners, they persuaded them to set their Hands 
to it, which was done accordingly, tho' with very 
much difficulty, upon which the said Confession was 
produced in Court, and the Witness's to it Ex- 
amin'd, who all deposed upon Oath that the said 
Confession was made in their Hearing, and that 
they saw the said reputed Witches set their Marks 
to it in the presence of ten Witnesses. 

" Upon which the said Prisoners were desired by 
the Court to declare wheather they own'd the said 
Confession and the INIarks thereunto Affixed or not, 
to which they both answered in the Negative ; and 
thereupon made such a Howling and lamentable 
Noise as never was heard before to the amusement 
of the Whole Court, and Deny'd every particular 

were ty'd up ; at the request of the Minister, ElHnor Shaw 
confessed not only the Crime for which she Dyed, but openly 
declared before them all how she first became a Witch, as 
did also Mary Phillips ; and being desired to say their 
Prayers they both set up a very loud Laughter, calling for the 
Devil to come and help them in such a Blasphemous manner 
as is not fit to Mention, so that the Sherif seeing their pre- 
sumptions Impenitence caused them to be Executed with all 
the Expedition possible ; even while they were Cursing and 
raving ; and as they liv'd the Devil's true Factors so they re- 
solutely Dyed in his service, to the Terror [of] all People who 
were cye-Witnesses of their dreadful and amazing Exits. 

" So that being Hang'd till they were almost Dead the Fire 
was put to the Straw, Faggots and other Combustable matter 


that was laid to their Charge : but the Court 
having heard the matter of Fact so positively as- 
serted against them by several Evidences, and above 
all by their own Confessions, that after having given 
a Larned [sic] Charge to the Jury relating to every 
particular Circumstance, they brought them in 
both Guilty oi wilful Murther and Witchcraft, and 
accordingly the next day the Court was pleased to 
pronounce sentence of Death upon them, that is to 
say, To be Hang'd till they are almost Dead, and 
then surrounded with Faggots Pitch and other Com- 
bustable matter, which being set on fire their Bodies 
are to be consumed to Ashes." 

In the month of March, 171 1-12, another woman, 
Jane Wenham by name' (formally charged with 
bewitching Anne Thorne, Anne Street, and others), 

till they were Burnt to Ashes. Thus Liv'd and thus Dyed 
two of the most notorious and presumptious Witches that 
ever were known in this Age. 

" To conclude : I heartly wish that these wretched Women's 
Sad and Lamentable Fates may be a warning to all Proud, 
Lustful and Malicious Persons whatsoever, least they be 
brought Step by Step before they are aware unto the Devil's 
Slaughterhouse of Confusion and Misery to all Eternity. 

" I am promised a Copy of the Sermon that was Preached 
by Mr. Danks at the Church of All Saint's the next day after 
the said Witches were Executed (being Sunday) upon that 
very Occasion, which I hope to send you by the next Post. 
" I am Sir, Your humble Servant, Ralph Davis." 

' " A Full and Impartiall account of the Discovery of 
Sorcery and Witchcraft, practised by Jane Wenham," etc. 
London : 17 12. 


was tried at the Assizes at Hertford, and received 
sentence of death. The case was heard before Sir 
Henry Chauncey. Before the grand jury the de- 
positions of sixteen witnesses were taken ; one of 
whom deposed that Jane Wenham confessed to him 
that she had practised Witchcraft during sixteen 
years. On one occasion when the girl whom she 
had afflicted was in one of her paroxysms, we are 
informed that a very ingenious gentleman and able 
physician happened to be present, his curiosity 
bringing him a little out of his way to inquire into 
the truth of the story of this witch, which he had 
heard several ways told, as things of this nature 
generally are. When he saw her in a fit, which was 
one of the least she ever had, he tried whether he 
could bring her out of it without prayers. He took 
a, great feather, which burning he held under the 
maid's nose, and though the stink was so great that 
we were not able to bear it in the room, yet the 
maid received the strong steam into her nose with- 
out being the least affected by it and without per- 
ceiving it, as far as we could perceive." The physi- 
cian then felt her pulse and assured them that " it 
was no natural disease under which the maid 
laboured, that it must be counterfeit or preternatural ; 
but," observes the author of this account, " that she 
should counterfeit even death itself one minute and 
restore herself to health the very next, and that she 
should put herself to all this trouble for no manner of 
pleasure or profit, is so very inconceivable and so 



wholly unaccountable, that I must needs say I shall 
never have faith enough to believe such a heap of 
absurdities." (p. 33.) 

The undoubted insensibility of the girl was tested 
in a very practical but remarkably barbarous 
manner. One of the members of the Family of 
Chauncey " ran a pin into her arm six or seven 
times, and finding she never winced for it, but held 
her arm as still as if nothing had been done to it, 
and seeing no blood come, he ran it in a great many 
times more ; still no blood came ; but she stood 
talking and never minded it. Then, again, he ran 
it in several times more. At last he left it in her 
arm that all the company might see it, run up to 
the head." (p. 19.) 

The record of these cases also contains the fol- 
lowing : — 

" There are also some things in which the fits of 
Mary Longdon and Anne Thorn agree, particularly 
the great strength of the afflicted when in a fit, so great 
that three or four men could hardly hold 'em down, 
but there is one very remarkable difference, which 
I doubt not my readers have already taken notice 
of, viz. that this Mary Longdon was always worse 
of her fits whenever Florence Newton came in the 
room ; whereas Anne Thorn constantly recovered 
from hers at the touch of the witch. And yet I 
think these different appearances may be accounted 
for [in] different ways. It is not reasonable to sup- 
pose that either of those alterations in the afflicted 


came to pass by the consent or procurement of the 
witches themselves, who could not but perceive that 
they served as strong circumstances against them, 
but this was done by the overruling providence of 
Almighty God to convict these miserable creatures ; 
and either of these ways might do as well as the 
other, since it is equally surprising to see one in 
perfect health fall into such terrible fits at the sight 
of any one person, as to see another recover out of 
such fits by the bare touch of the suspected witch, 
both of them tending only to the discovery of the 
criminal." (pp. 17, 18.) 

As to certain of the characteristics and evidences 
of Witchcraft, Increase Mather in his " Cases of Con- 
science" writes as follows. What he sets forth, and 
what is now to be quoted, serves to show not only 
the kind of evidence as to facts which was then forth- 
coming, but also to afford information as to the 
current sentiment of his own period : " As for that 
which concerns the bewitched persons being re- 
covered out of their agonies by the touch of the sus- 
pected party, it is various and fallible; sometimes the 
afflicted person is made sick instead of being made 
whole by the touch of the accused ; sometimes the 
power of imagination is such as that the touch of a 
person innocent and not accused shall have the same 
effect. Bodin relates that a witch who was tried at 
Nantes was commanded by the judges to touch a be_ 
witched person, a thing often practised by the judges 
of Germany in the Imperial Chamber. The witch 


was extremely unwilling, but being compelled by the 
judges, she cried out, I am undone, and as soon as 
ever she touched the afflicted person the witch fell 
down dead, I think," continues Mather, " that there 
is weight in Dr. Cottar's argument, viz. that the 
power of healing the sick and possessed was a 
special grace and favour of God for the confirma- 
tion of the truth of the Gospel ; but that such a gift 
should be annexed to the touch of wicked witches, 
as an infallible sign of their guilt is not easy to be 
believed. It is a thing well known, that if a person 
possessed by an evil spirit is (as oft it happens) 
never so outrageous whilst a good man is praying 
with and for the afflicted, let him lay his hand on 
them and the evil spirit is quiet." 

The cases already referred to took place in Eng- 
land. A brief reference may be here made to two 
examples which caused considerable sensation in 
Scotland, — a country where the belief in Witchcraft 
was in times past almost universal ; and where, 
even still, the clear statements of Holy Scripture 
on the subject are neither explained away, scoffed 
at, nor disbelieved : — 

In the year 1696 a commission was appointed 
in Scotland by the Lords of his Majesty's Privy 
Council, to inquire into the case of Christian Shaw, 
daughter of John Shaw of Bargarran, and the ac- 
cused persons confronted before Lord Blantyre, the 
rest of the commissioners, several others gentlemen 
of note and ministers, the accused and in particular 


Catherine Campbell were examined in the presence 
of the commissioners. " When they [the accused] 
severally touched the afflicted girl, says the Report, 
she was seized with grevious fits and cast into in- 
tolerable agonies ; others then present did also touch 
her, but no such effects followed, and it is remark- 
able that when Catherine Campbell touched the 
girle she was immediately seized with more grevious 
fittes and cast into more intolerable torments than 
upon the touch of other accused persons, whereat 
Campbell herself being daunted and confounded, 
though she had formerly declined to bless her, 
uttered these words, 'The Lord of heaven and 
earth bless thee and save thee both body and 

During these trials we are informed that the 
"prisoners were called in, one by one, and placed 
about seven or eight feet from the justices and 
accusers ; then, stood between the justices and them, 
the prisoners were ordered to stand right before 
the justices, with an officer appointed to hold each 
hand, lest they should herewith afflict them, and the 
prisoners' eyes must be constantly on the justices, 
for if they looked on the afflicted they would either 

' " Sadducismus Debellatus ; or a True Narrative of the 
Sorceries and Witchcraft exercised by the Devil and his 
Instruments upon Mrs. Christian Shaw in the county of 
Renfrew, in the West of Scotland, from August 1696 to April 
1697, &c." Collected from the Records. London: Newman 
and Bell, 1698. 


fall into fitts or cry out they were much hurt by 

" On the trial of Bridget Bishops," it is further 
added that, " the indictment being drawn up ac- 
cording to form, it was testified at' the examination 
of the prisoner before the magistrates that the be- 
witched were extremely tortured. If she did but 
cast her eye on them they were presently cast 
down, and this in such a manner that there could 
be no collusion in the business. But upon the 
touch of her hand upon them when they lay in 
their swoones they would immediately revive, and 
not upon the touch of anyone else. Moreover, 
upon the special actions of her body, as the shaking 
of her head or the turning up of her eyes, they pre- 
sently fell into the same postures, and many of the 
like accidents fell out while she was at the bar." ^ 

Most curious are the various details of the trials 
thus far referred to. And certain of them may be 
regarded as trivial, if not absurd and ridiculous. 
Nevertheless it should be our careful aim to dis- 
tinguish between those facts which were formally, 
regularly, and clearly established by positive evi- 
dence, and the personal fancies, superstitions, 
notions and wild ideas which may possibly accom- 
pany the reports of them. Of course exaggerations 
may have been made, and impositions not unfre- 

• " Another Brand Plucked out of the Burning : or More 
Wonders of the Invisible World." London: 1700. 


quently practised; but in the forcible words of Joseph 
Glanville, we should remember that " frequency of 
deceit and fallacy will warrant a greater care and 
caution in examining, and a greater scrupulosity 
and shyness of assent to, things wherein fraud hath 
been practised, or may in the least degree be sus- 
pected ; but to conclude that, because an old wo- 
man's fancy hath abused her, or some knavish fellow 
hath put tricks on the ignorant and timorous, there- 
fore whole assizes have been deceived in judgment 
upon matters of fact, and that numbers of persons 
have been forsworn in things wherein perjury could 
not advantage them, I say such inferences are as 
void of charity as of good manners .... In things 
of fact the people are as much to be believed as 
the most subtle philosophers and speculators, since 
their sense is the judge, but in matters of notion and 
theory they are not at all to be heeded, because 
Reason is to be the judge of these, and this they 
know not how to usc."^ 

It must be frankly admitted that these records of 
trials — of which there are such numerous examples 
in print — often contain principles and details of a 
most disagreeable and offensive nature. They have 
been quoted at some length, however, in order to 
point out exactly what for many years was currently 
believed with regard to Witchcraft ; and whatever 
fanciful additions were made, or whatever supersti- 

' " Saddvcismus Triumphatus," pp. 20-37. 


tious garnishings were added to such accounts, by 
the ignorant or half-informed, there can be Httle 
doubt that, after all reasonable deductions had been 
made, there was a considerable substratum of truth 
underlying each of them, which ought not to be 
ignored, and which cannot, on any satisfactory 
theory, be reasonably explained away. 

In certain cases the subject of Witchcraft had a 
somewhat wide and vague meaning. It not unfre- 
quently covered the practices of all the so-called 
"occult sciences," just as in the "Book of Daniel," 
"the magicians, the astrologers,^ the Chaldeans, and 
the soothsayers," classed together, were together 
consulted ; so it seems to have been in ancient times 
in places, and amongst people who practised Witch- 
craft and Necromancy. Invocations of the dead ; the 
use of charms ; watching the flight of birds ; " read- 
ing the stars ; " interpreting dreams, and foretelling 

' Two remarkable works for and against what was termed 
" Judiciall Astrologie," were published in the latter years of 
Queen Elizabeth's reign. One, attacking the system, from 
the pen of John Chamber, Prebendary of Windsor and Fellow 
of Eton College (London : John Harrison, Paternoster Row, 
4to., Lambeth Library, 78 F. 22) ; the other defending it, in 
reply to the above, by Sir Christopher Heydon, Knt., printed at 
Cambridge, by John Legat, printer to the University in 1603 
(Lambeth Library, 78 F. 12). The former is a treatise of 
very considerable vigour and power of reasoning : the latter 
is somewhat laboured, eminently pedantic, overburdened with 
tedious and irrelevant quotations, and altogether very inferior 
from a literary point of view. 


future events by the aid of evil spirits, were all 
practices which, in a somewhat vague but popular 
phraseology, came under the class of sins of the na- 
ture of those directly condemned in Holy Scripture. 
One or two further remarks may be added upon 
the general subject. From the amount of evidence 
which exists, it is impossible to deny that such a 
power as Witchcraft has been frequently exercised, 
and consequently may be put into practice again. 
It is idle to assert that it is a mere moral epidemic, 
at least for those who take up a Christian standing- 
point, and do not deny both the Inspiration of Holy 
Scripture and the Indefectibility and InfallibiHty of 
the Church Universal, as well as, and in addition to, 
well-authenticated historical facts. The practice of 
Witchcraft has, of course, been more ordinary in 
countries which are not Catholic ;^ for example in 
Scotland, Sweden, Germany, and North America ; 
though, of necessity it prevailed very largely with 
many in England from the period of the Reforma- 
tion until the beginning of the eighteenth century, 
as has been already sufficiently shown. Thus, 
many who refused to hear, and abide by, the message 
and guidance of Holy Church ; who rejected the 
miracles and mercies of the Almighty, were some- 
times too ready to accept as true, and participate 

• In almost all Heathen or Pagan countries, Witchcraft, 
Necromancy and Sorcery are recognized and established 


in the weird works of necromancers, and sometimes 
to be duped by the Prince of darkness, through the 
active instrumentahty of his human agents.^ 

Without, at this point of our general argument, 

* There was a notorious sorcerer and reputed necromancer 
in King James the First's reign, a certain Dr. Lamb. In 
Baxter's " Certainty of the World of Spirits " (a.d. 1691), he 
records a curious instance of Lamb's miraculous performances. 
This sorcerer, meeting two of his acquaintances in the street, 
they, expressing a wish to witness some example of his spiritual 
skill, were invited to his house. There they were conducted 
to an inner room, where to their intense surprise they saw a 
growing-tree spring up slowly in the middle of the room. [It 
may be here remarked that the Oriental jugglers and sor- 
cerers work a similar manifestation of their powers, often 
witnessed and frequently described. — Editor.] In a moment, 
as this record informs us, there appeared three diminutive 
men, who with little axes felled the tree ; and then the doctor 
dismissed his guests, who had been duly impressed by his 
powers. On that very night, however, a tremendous hurricane 
arose, causing the house of one of the guests to rock from 
side to side, with every probability that the house would fall, 
and bury him and his wife in its ruins. The wife in an agony 
of fear inquired, " Were you not at Dr. Lamb's to-day ? " The 
husband admitted that it was true that he had been. " And 
did you not bring something away from his house?" The 
husband confessed that he had done so. When the little men 
were felling the tree, he had picked up some of the chips and 
put them into his pocket. Nothing, therefore, as his wife 
pointed out, remained to be done but to produce these chips, 
and get rid of them as fast as possible. When this was done, 
the tempest ceased, and the rest of the night was perfectly 
calm. It may be added that this sorcerer became so odious, 
because of his necromancy and other infernal practices, that 
in 1640 the populace rose upon him and tore him to pieces in 
the streets ; while, thirteen years afterwards, a woman who 


trenching unduly on a detail of the subject in its 
most recent developments, which is carefully con- 
sidered at some length in later chapters, it may be 
well to give a single example perfectly accurate and 
most satisfactorily authenticated. 

Here it is : — The friend of a distinguished Scotch 
peer wished for certain important and valuable 
information, which in any ordinary, usual, and com- 
mon modes he was, it appears, altogether unable 
to obtain. He therefore thought it right and pro- 
per to consult a " spiritual medium," and so held 
a consultation, made an inquiry, and obtained a 
response. The following is the authenticated re- 
cord of this action : — 

" A friend of mine was very anxious to find the 
Will of his grandmother, who had been dead forty 
years, but could not even find the certificate of her 
death. I went with him to the Marshall's^ and we 
had a seance ; we sat at a table, and soon the raps 
came ; my friend then asked his questions vicn- 
tally ; he went over the alphabet himself, or some- 
times I did so, not knowing the question. We 

had been in his service was apprehended upon a charge of 
Witchcraft, was tried on what seems to have been very strong 
and conclusive evidence, found guilty, and in expiation of her 
crime was executed at Tyburn. [The contemporary literature 
extant, relating to this case of Lamb and his servant, would 
fill a large volume. — Editor.] 

' These persons are reported and reputed to be professional 
mediums, and are said to be very largely patronized by 
people of all ranks and classes, more especially the higher. 


were told [that] the Will had been drawn by a man 
named William Walter, who lived in Whitechapel ; 
the name of the street and the number of the house 
were given. We went to Whitechapel, found the 
man, and subsequently, through his aid obtained a 
copy of the draft ; he was quite unknown to us, and 
had not always lived in that locality, for he had 
once seen better days. The medium could not 
possibly have known anything about the matter, 
and even if she had, her knowledge would have 
been of no avail, as all the questions were mental 

The specific features of this account are so ob- 
vious and well defined, and the account itself is so 
remarkably clear in all its various parts, that nothing 
more needs to be added, than the simple, remark, 
that if the old and false principles of Witchcraft 
and Necromancy are not here again present and 
energizing (only appropriately and properly draped 
in a nineteenth-century garment, and carefully 
adapted to the tastes of refined and educated 
people), it would be well to find some other prin- 
ciple by which this, and thousands of other similar 
cases may be rationally and openly explained and 
accounted for, and this from the standing-point of 
a firm belief in Historical Christianity. 

From the point of view from which this book is 

' " Report on Spiritualism." Examination of the Master 
of Lindsay, p. 215. London : Longman, 1871. 


written, it may be reasonably maintained that re- 
cent " spiritual manifestations," as they are termed, 
are very possibly only another mode by which in 
an age of superior civilization the Prince of the 
Power of the air, adapting his delusions to the less 
coarse tastes and sentiments of his anxious clients 
and inquiring followers, produces " lying wonders," 
false miracles, and delusive appearances ; or un- 
lawfully reveals secrets, affords information in the 
present, and gives, or pretends to give, revelations 
as to the future. 

Many persons in the present day are ready 
enough (as well they may be,) to become eloquent 
on the trivial absurdities and vulgar (too often dark 
and obscene) contrivances of the Witchcraft of the 
seventeenth century. Be it so. But perhaps, after 
all, the system as then worked was both skilfully, 
intellectually, and well enough adapted for the 
purposes and aims which its author had in hand. 
If the coarse-minded and uneducated of those days 
so readily became its agents and workers, coarse- 
ness and ignorance were reasonably and suitably, 
and perhaps of necessity, used in its operations. 
Now, however, the persistent Enemy of mankind, 
" the Old Serpent," 1 appears to have adopted quite 
another course of tactics, less coarse it may be, and 
less revolting (in some particulars) to the senti- 
mental and shallow, but equally efficacious for his 

' Genesis iii. i ; Revelation xii. 9 ; Ibid. xx. 


diabolical purposes and eventual success. Where 
Witchcraft was formerly practised by ten persons, 
its new and more attractive phase, it is to be feared, 
is now accepted by thousands. All this, and more, 
may be gathered later on, when the subject of 
" Modern Spiritualism" is duly considered. 





" And how will those modern wits, of which our age is so 
full, account for this, who allow no God or Providence, no 
invisible world, no angelic kind and waking spirits, who, by 
a secret correspondence with our embodied spirits, give mer- 
ciful hints to us of approaching mischief and impending 
dangers; and that timely, so as to put the means into our 
hands to avoid and escape them?" — History and Reality of 
Apparitiotts, by Andrew Moreton, Esq., p. 218, London : 
" The Soul's dark cottage, batter'd and deca/d. 
Lets in new light through chinks which Time hath made." 

Edmund Waller. 

" All who read this, I exhort in the Name of the Most 
Sacred Majesty of our Most Blessed King, Jesus Christ, to 
be extremely suspicious of all such extraordinary appearances, 
presentiments, trances and predictions ; to examine well and 
minutely everything ; not to look upon those books, which 
even pious souls in such a state have written, unconditionally 
as a divine revelation ; and not to believe their predictions, 
but to be persuaded, that though some things may be ful- 
filled, others may not." — J. H. Jung-Stilling, On Forebodings. 
London: 1834. 



HE subjects here set forth for considera- 
tion (by which no slight progress will 
be made in exhibiting such facts as 
serve to unfold and make manifest 
more plainly the purpose of this treatise), are very^ 
wide in their scope. A large volume might with 
no great difficulty be compiled upon each separate 
subject ; for the examples of remarkable dreams and 
supernatural omens which are already on record, 
are exceedingly numerous,' while the warnings 

' The Editor, while avoiding the reproduction of examples 
which are tolerably well known, has generally aimed at 
setting forth cases which have not yet been put into print ; 
though in some records which follow, a few have been 
selected which have already been published, in order that 
one example, at least, of all the particular kinds of w-arning 
and dreams, may be here presented to the reader. 



and presentiments of danger and death, which 
are still often vouchsafed, have been so notably 
providential in their purport, that many of the 
mercifully-bestowed Glimpses of the Supernatural, 
brought before the Editor's notice, can only be 
attributed generally to the goodness of Almighty 
God, and particularly either to the intercession of 
His Saints, the effectual fervent prayers of those 
still in the flesh, or the direct intervention of His 
Holy Angels, the guardians and guides of 

Some dreams, especially those of an ordinary 
character, appear to consist of the mere revival of 
old memories and associations regarding persons 
and events which have long passed out of the mind, 
and seem to have been forgotten. It is often quite 
impossible to trace the manner in which, or the 
method by which, dreams arise ; and certainly 
many of the facts connected with them do not 
appear referable to any coherent principle with 
which it may truly be said that man is perfectly 
acquainted. They are mysterious ; they are 
strange ; they are supernatural. At the same time 
it is impossible not to remember how frequently 
the sacred and divine writings record examples of 
dreams, by which the Will of God was directly 
made known of old to some of His favoured ser- 
vants. The case of King Abimelech, warned 
against taking Abraham's wife (whom he had 
untruly called 'his sister), is an early instance in 


point.^ So, too, are the warnings and directions 
given by Almighty God to Jacob and Laban. The 
dreams of Joseph hkewise illustrate the principle 
which may be readily discovered and comprehended 
by the help of Scripture, viz. that some dreams, 
whatever others may be, are certainly from God, 
and ought not to be disregarded. For the 
Almighty expressly pledged Himself to make 
known His Will to His prophets both by dreams 
and in visions.- And it was by the former that He 
appeared to Solomon, graciously and mercifully 
offering him a response to any request he might 
make. "Ask what I shall give thee." The 
dreams and visions of Daniel, the Hebrew Prophet, 
likewise of S. Joseph of Nazareth, both with 
regard to the Blessed Virgin and the malice of 
Herod ; the warning dreams of the Three Eastern 
Kings ; that of Pilate's wife, and others equally 
remarkable, are familiar to us all. So that, what- 
ever theories may be excogitated by some, it is 
impossible for Christians to hold any novel and fan- 
tastic ideas, which would sweep away those links 
which in dreams and visions may still bind together 
the natural with the supernatural, and by which, 
from time to time, in the present day, warnings 

' Genesis xx. 3 ; Ibid. xxxi. 11, and (to Laban) ver. 31. As 
to Pharaoh's dream of a coming famine, see Genesis xli. 

* Numbers xii. 6; i Kings iii. 5 — 15; Daniel vii. to the 
end of the book. S. Matthew, i — 20; Ibid. ii. 12 (as to S. 
Joseph), ver. 13. and verses 19 and 20 ; Ibid, xxvii. 19. 


and necessary lessons may sometimes be mercifully 
vouchsafed and imparted. 

A considerable difficulty has been experienced 
by the Editor, not only in testing' recent examples 
which have been brought before him, but in 
inducing those who supplied him with them, to 
allow the use and support of their names.^ In the 
cases to be given, he has spared no reasonable 
trouble in their investigation ; and, where they are 
not matters of history (received and recognized by 
those who are satisfied with an application of the 
ordinary laws of evidence), the reader may rely on 
the fact that they have not been embodied in this 
volume without the most anxious inquiry and 
careful sifting of their truth and accuracy. 

Thus much as to his purport and intent. Now 
let the examples of remarkable dreams be put on 
record ; after a brief reference has been made to 
the belief and expressions of opinion of certain 

' Two valued correspondents respectively write as follows : — 
" One could relate many such family incidents as you sug- 
gest, but everyone shrinks from allowing them to be verified 
by name. I imagine that this reticence arises from the 
natural dread and dislike to having what is sacred to one's 
own faith and feelings submitted to the ridicule of sceptical 
and rationalistic minds." 

Another : — " I send you the enclosed — a record of the 
supernatural appearance which is always seen immediately 
prior to the death of the head of our family. But I do not 
wish it printed ; and absolutely foi'bid the mention either of 
place or person, lest it should be identified, which might 
cause annoyance to our friends." 


early Christian writers, obviously formulated upon 
the basis of scriptural assertions and sacred 
examples of old. 

When the body sleeps, as Tertullian remarks,' 
it takes its own peculiar refreshment, but that re- 
freshment not being adapted to the soul, which 
does not rest, she during the inactivity of the bodily 
members employs her own. Then in his treatise 
" On the Soul,"^ he proceeds to distinguish between 
the hallucination of dreaming and insanity. Dream- 
ing is agreeable to the course and order of Nature, 
he maintains ; but he rejects the doctrine of Epicurus, 
in which dreams are disparaged as idle and fortui- 
tous. He further expresses his conviction that future 
honours, dignities, medical remedies, thefts and 
treasure have been revealed by dreams — testimonies 
to which are both numerous and strong. Many 
dreams, specially those which are vain, frivolous, 
impure, and turbulent, may be attributed to demons. 
Others, again, proceed from God or holy angels, as 
one portion of prophecy. 

Lactantius, in a short passage of his well-known 
" Tract,"-* expresses his conviction of divine agency 
in dreams. He maintains that the undoubted 
testimony of History presents mankind with several 
most remarkable verifications of dreams ; and he 
repeats what Tertullian had already maintained, 

' De Anima, c 45-47. * Ibid. 

' De Opificio Dei, saec. xviii. 


viz. that part of the economy of prophecy depends 
upon them. He holds that Virgil's evidence 
may be admitted, that dreams are neither always 
true nor always false. 

Again, S. Cyprian states that he was divinely in- 
structed in a dream to mix a little water with the 
wine for the Holy Eucharist.' On the general sub- 
ject, S. Basil warns those who may be ready to 
attribute too great importance to dreams, to rest 
contented with the written revelation of Almighty 
God in Holy Scripture.^ S. Bernard, the last of the 
Fathers, treats of dreams at great length in his re- 
markable sermon " On Sleep," which is full of 
sage advice of the same nature as that set forth by 
S. Basil ; and so does S. Thomas Aquinas, who dis- 
cusses the subject with singular breadth, fulness, and 
system, arriving at the conclusion that it is unreason- 
able to deny anything — the truth of which is affirmed 
by general experience; and he adds that general 
experience affirms that dreams very frequently 
give indications of coming events ; and therefore, 
concludes that it is lawful to interpret and endeavour 
to comprehend them. But at this point, he goes on 
to maintain that only those dreams which are sug- 
gested by angels may be investigated and inter- 
preted, those suggested by demons and evil spirits 

' Epist. Sti. Cypriani, Ixiii. 
' Epist. Sti. Basilii, cxx. 

' Opera Thom. Aquin., Tom. ii., Qusest. xcv., Art. vi. : 
Tom. iii., Quasst. Ixxx., Art. vii. 


being left alone. But unfortunately he provides no 
criterion by which the one class may be safely and 
truly distinguished from the other ; nor is it easy 
to supply the deficiency. 

From another point of view, a thoughtful modern 
writer' has remarked that "dreams are uniformly the 
resuscitation or re-embodiment of thoughts which 
have formerly, in some shape or other, occupied 
the mind. They are old ideas revived, either in an 
entire state, or heterogeneously mingled together. 
I doubt if it be possible," he continues, " for a 
person to have in a dream, any idea whose elements 
did not, in some form, strike him at a previous 
period. If these break loose from their connecting 
chain, and become jumbled together incoherently, as 
is often the case, they give rise to absurd combina- 
tions ; but the elements still subsist, and only mani- 
fest themselves in a new and unconnected shape." 

This, and such as this, may be quite true ; but 
yet whatever theories the scientific may propound 
which seem to oppose the facts of man's experience, 
will not in the long run command that adhesion 
which for awhile they may possibly obtain. And 
now for examples : 

The Dream of the so-called " Swaffham Tinker "- 

' " The Philosophy of Sleep." By Macknish. 

■^ The Rev. George R. Winter, IM.A., Vicar of Swaffham 
and Rural Dean, thus most obligingly writes to the Editor 
(a.d. 1874) : — "The story of the Dream is popularly believed, 
and there was a good foundation for it. In the upper 


is singular, and may well be here reproduced, because 
it represents an example of the practical results of 
dreaming, which is quite worthy of consideration : — 
" This Tinker, a hard-working, industrious man, 
one night dreamed that if he took a journey to 
London, and placed himself at a certain spot on 
London Bridge, he should meet one who would tell 
him something of great importance to his future 
prospects. The Tinker, on whom the dream made 
a deep impression, related it fully to his wife in 
the morning ; who, however, half-laughed at him 
and half-scolded him for his folly in heeding such 
idle fancies. Next night he is said to have re- 
dreamed the dream ; and again on the third night, 
when the impression was so powerful on his mind 
that he determined, in spite of the remonstrances 
of his wife and the ridicule of his neighbours, to go 
to London and see the upshot of it. Accordingly 
he set off for the metropolis on foot, reached it 
late on the third day (the distance was ninety 
miles), and, after the refreshment of a night's rest, 
took his station next day on a part of the Bridge 
answering to the description in his dream. There 

portion of the windows of the north aisle is some old painted 
glass, which is supposed to represent the man and his family ; 
but the chief monument of his identity is a piece of old 
carving representing a pedlar with a pack on his back, and 
also his dog, forming part of the westernmost stalls of the 
-choir. This, I believe, was at one time in the north aisle, 
which the man is supposed to have built." The dream is 
related at length in Blomfield's " History of Norfolk." 


he stood all day, and all the next, and all the third, 
without any communication as to the purpose of 
his journey ; so that towards night, on the third 
day, he began to lose patience and confidence in 
his dream, inwardly cursed his folly in disregarding 
his wife's counsel, and resolved next day to make 
the best of his way home. He still kept his 
station, however, till late in the evening, when, just 
as he was about to depart, a stranger who had 
noticed him standing stedfastly and with anxious 
look on the same spot for some days, accosted him, 
and asked him what he waited there for. After a 
little hesitation, the Tinker told his errand, though 
without acquainting him with the name of the 
place whence he came. The stranger enjoyed a 
smile at the rustic's simplicity, and advised him to 
go home and for the future to pay no attention to 
dreams. ' I myself,' said he, ' if I were disposed 
to put faith in such things, might now go a hundred 
miles into the country upon a similar errand. I 
dreamed three nights this week that if I went to a 
place called Swaffham in Norfolk, and dug under 
an apple-tree in a certain garden on the north side 
of the town I should find a box of money ; but I 
have something else to do than run after such idle 
fancies ! No, no, my friend ; go home, and work 
well at your calling, and you will find there the 
riches you are seeking here.' The astonished Tin- 
ker did not doubt that this was the communication 
he had been sent to London to receive, but he 


merely thanked the stranger for his advice, and 
went away avowing his intention to follow it. Next 
day he set out for home, and on his arrival there 
said little to his wife touching his journey; but next 
morning he rose betimes and began to dig on the 
spot he supposed to be pointed out by the 
stranger. When he had got a few feet down, the 
spade struck upon something hard, which turned 
out to be an iron chest. This he quickly carried 
{.o his house, and when he had with difficulty 
wrenched open the lid, found it, to his great joy, 
to be full of money. After securing his treasure, 
h^ observed on the lid of the box an inscription, 
which, unlearned as he was, he could not decipher. 
But by a stratagem he got the description read 
without any suspicion on the part of his neighbours 
by some of the Grammar School lads, and found 
it to be — 

* aoiljece t|)i!3 jstooti 

J0 anotljer ttoice a0 poti/ 

And in truth on digging again the lucky Tinker 
disinterred, below the place where the first chest 
had lain, a second twice as large, also full of gold 
and silver coin. It is stated that, become thus a 
wealthy man, the Tinker showed his thankfulness 
to Providence by building a new chancel to the 
church, the old one being out of repair. And 
whatever fiction the marvellous taste of those ages 
may have mixed up with the tale, certain it is that 
there is shown to this day a monument in Swaff- 


ham Church, having an ^^gy in marble, said to be 
that of the Tinker with his Dog at his side and his 
tools and implements of trade lying about him." 

Among the various histories of singular dreams 
and corresponding events, the following, which 
occurred in the early part of the eighteenth century, 
seems to merit being here placed on record. Its 
authenticity will appear from the relation ; and it 
may surely be maintained that a more extraor- 
dinary concurrence of fortuitous and accidental 
circumstances can scarcely be produced or paral- 
leled :— 

" One Adam Rogers, a creditable and decent 
man of good sense and repute, who kept an inn at 
Portlaw, a small hamlet nine or ten miles from 
Waterford, in Ireland, dreamed one night that he 
saw two men at a particular green spot on the 
adjoining mountain ; one of them a small, sickly- 
looking man, the other remarkably strong and 
large. He then saw the latter man murder the 
other, upon which he awoke in great agitation. 

" The circumstances of the dream were so distinct 
and forcible that he continued much affected by 
them. He related them to his wife, and also to 
several neighbours next morning. 

"In some time he went out coursing with grey- 
hounds, accompanied amongst others by one Mr. 
Browne, the Roman Catholic priest of the parish. 
He soon stopped at the above-mentioned particular 
green spot on the mountain, and calling Mr. Browne, 


pointed it out to him, and told him what had hap- 
pened there. During the remainder of the day he 
thought Httle more about it. 

" Next morning he was extremely startled at 
seeing two strangers enter his house at about eleven 
o'clock in the forenoon. He immediately went into 
an inner room, and desired his wife to take parti- 
cular notice, for they were precisely the two men 
he had seen in his dream. 

" After the strangers had taken some refresh- 
ment, and were about to depart in order to pro- 
secute their journey, Rogers earnestly entreated the 
little man at once to quit his fellow-traveller. He 
assured him that if he would remain with him that 
day he would accompany him to Carrick the next 
morning — that being the town to which the travellers 
were proceeding. He was unwilling and ashamed 
to tell the cause of his being so solicitous to sepa- 
rate him from his companion. But as he observed 
that Hickey (which was the name of the little man) 
seemed to be quiet and gentle in his deportment, 
and had money about him, and that the other had 
a ferocious, bad countenance, the dream still re- 
curred to him. He dreaded that something fatal 
would happen, and wished at all events to keep 
them asunder. 

" However, the humane precautions of Rogers 
proved ineffectual, for Caulfield (such was the 
other's name) prevailed upon Hickey to continue 
with him on their way to Carrick, declaring that as 


they had long travelled together, they should not 
part, but remain together until he should see Hickey 
safely arrived at the habitation of his friends. The 
wife of Rogers was much dissatisfied when she 
heard they were gone, and blamed her husband 
exceedingly for not being absolutely peremptory in 
detaining Hickey. 

"About an hour after they left Portlaw, in a 
lonely part of the mountain, just near the place 
observed by Rogers in his dream, Caulfield took 
the opportunity of murdering his companion. It 
appeared afterwards from his own account of the 
horrid transaction, that as they were getting over a 
ditch he struck Hickey on the back part of the 
head with a stone, and when he fell down into the 
trench in consequence of the blow, Caulfield gave 
him several stabs with a knife, and cut his throat so 
deeply that the head was observed to be almost 
severed from his body. He then rifled Hickey 's 
pockets of all the money in them, took part of his 
clothes and everything else of value about him, and 
afterwards proceeded on his way to Carrick. He 
had not been long gone when the body, still warm, 
was discovered by some labourers who were re- 
turning to their work from dinner. 

" The report of the murder soon reached Portlaw. 
Rogers and his wife went to the place and instantly 
knew the body of him whom they had in vain 
endeavoured to dissuade from going on with his 
treacherous companion. They at once spoke out 


their suspicions that the murder was perpetrated by 
the fellow-traveller of the deceased. An immediate 
search was made, and Caulfield was apprehended at 
Waterford the second day after. 

" He was brought to trial at the ensuing assizes 
and convicted of the fact. It appeared amongst 
other circumstances that when he went to Carrick 
he hired a horse and a boy to conduct him — not by 
the usual road, but by that which runs on the north 
side of the river Suir — to Waterford, intending to 
take his passage in the first ship from thence to 
Newfoundland. The boy took notice of some blood 
on his shirt, and Caulfield gave him a half-crown to 
promise not to speak of it. 

" Rogers proved not only that Hickey was last 
seen in company with Caulfield, but that a pair of 
new shoes which Hickey wore had been found on 
the feet of Caulfield when he was apprehended ; 
and that a pair of old shoes which he had on at 
Rogers's house were upon Hickey 's feet when the 
body was found. He described with great exact- 
ness every article of their clothes. Caulfield on the 
cross-examination, shrewdly asked him from the 
dock whether it was not very extraordinary that he, 
who kept a public-house, should take such particular 
notice of the dress of a stranger accidentally calling 
there .'' Rogers in his answer said he had a very 
particular reason, but he was ashamed to mention 
it. The court and the prisoner insisted on his 
declaring it. He gave a circumstantial narrative of 


his dream, called upon Mr. Browne, the priest, then 
in court, to corroborate his testimony, and said that 
his wife had severely reproached him for permitting 
Hickey to leave their house, when he knew that in 
the short footway to Carrick they must necessarily 
pass by the green spot in the mountain which had 
appeared in his dream. 

" A number of witnesses came forward, and the 
proofs were so strong that the jury without hesita- 
tion found the prisoner guilty. 

" It was remarked as a singularity that he hap- 
pened to be tried and sentenced by his namesake, 
Sir George Caulfeild, at that time Lord Chief 
Justice of the King's Bench, which office he resigned 
in the summer of the year 1760. 

" After sentence Caulfield confessed the fact. It 
came that Hickey had been in the West Indies two 
and twenty years, but falling into a bad state of 
health, he was returning to his native country 
(Ireland) bringing with him some money his industry 
had acquired. The vessel on board which he took 
his passage w^as, by stress of weather, driven into 
Minehead. He there met with Frederick Caulfield, 
an Irish sailor, who was poor and much distressed 
for clothes and common necessaries. Hickey com- 
passionating his poverty, and finding he was his 
countryman, relieved his wants, and an intimacy 
commenced between them. They agreed to go to 
Ireland together; and it was remarked on their 
passage that Caulfield spoke contemptuously, and 


often said it was a pity that such a puny fellow as 
Hickey should have money, and he himself without 
a shilling. They landed at Waterford, at which 
place they stayed some days, Caulfield being all 
the time supported by Hickey, who bought some 
clothes for him. The assizes being held in the 
town during that time, it was afterwards recollected 
that they were both at the Court-house, and at- 
tended the whole of a trial of a shoemaker who 
was convicted of the murder of his wife. But this 
made no impression on the hardened mind of Caul- 
field, for the very next day he perpetrated the same 
crime on the road between Waterford and Carrick- 
on-Suir, near which town Rickey's relations lived. 

" He walked to the gallows with firm step and 
undaunted countenance. He spoke to the multi- 
tude who surrounded him, and in the course of his 
address mentioned that he had been bred at a 
charter-school, from which he was taken as an 
apprenticed servant by William Izod, Esq., of the 
county of Kilkenny. From this position he ran 
away on being corrected for some faults, and had 
been absent from Ireland six years. He confessed 
also that he had several times intended to murder 
Hickey on the road from Waterford to Portlaw, 
which, though in general not a road much fre- 
quented, yet people at that time continually 
coming in sight, prevented him. 

" Being frustrated in all his schemes, the sudden 
and total disappointment threw him probably into 


an indifference for life. Some tempers are so 
stubborn and rugged that nothing can affect them, 
but immediate sensation. If to this be united the 
darkest ignorance, death to such characters will 
hardly seem terrible, because they can form no 
conception of what it is, and still less of the con- 
sequences that may follow." 

The record of the following dream is certainly 
curious and interesting, and is perfectly well authen- 
ticated, coming as it does from the pen of the 
gentleman's son more immediately concerned, who 
testified as to its literal fulfilment : — 

" In the year i ']6Z my father, Matthew Talbot, 
Esq., of Castle Talbot, in the county of Wexford, was 
much surprised at the recurrence of a dream three 
several times during the same night, which caused 
him to repeat the whole circumstance to his lady 
the following morning. He dreamed that he had 
arisen as usual and descended to his library, the 
morning being hazy. He then seated himself at 
his secretaire to write ; when, happening to look up 
a long avenue of trees opposite the window, he 
perceived a man in a blue jacket mounted on a 
white horse coming towards the house. My father 
arose and opened the window. The man advanc- 
ing, presented him with a roll of papers, and told 
him they were invoices of a vessel which had been 
wrecked and had drifted in during the night on his 
son-in-law's, Lord Mountmorris's, estate close by, 
and signed ' Bell and Stephenson' I\Iy father's 



attention was only called to the dream from its 
frequent recurrence : but, when he found himself 
seated at his desk on the misty morning, and 
beheld the identical person whom he had seen in 
his dream in the blue coat riding on the grey horse, 
he felt surprised, and opening the window waited 
the man's approach. He immediately rode up, and 
drawing from his pocket a packet of papers, gave 
them to my father, stating they were invoices 
belonging to an American vessel which had been 
wrecked, and drifted in upon his lordship's estate ; 
that there was no person on board to lay claim to 
the wreck, but that the invoices were signed ' Ste- 
phenson and Bell.' I assure you that the above is 
most faithfully given by me as it actually occurred ; 
but it is not more extraordinary than other 
examples of the prophetic powers of the mind or 
soul in sleep which I have frequently heard 

Another remarkable dream, exceedingly well 
authenticated by an aunt of the Editor of this 
volume, is now set forth in detail and at some 
length : — 

"On the night of the nth of May, 1812, Mr. 
Williams, of Scorrier House, near Redruth, in 
Cornwall, awoke his wife, and exceedingly agitated, 

' The above was written at Alton Towers, Cheadle, on 
the 23rd of October, 1842, and duly signed by Mr. William 
Talbot, a relation of John, Earl of Shrewsbury. 


told her that he had dreamed that he was in the 
lobby of the House of Commons, and saw a man 
shoot with a pistol a gentleman who had just 
entered the lobby, who was said to be the Chan- 
cellor, to which Mrs. Williams naturally replied that 
it was only a dream, and recommended him to be 
composed, and go to sleep as soon as he could. 

" He did so, but shortly after again woke her ; 
and said that he had the second time had the same 
dream ; whereupon she observed that he had been 
so much agitated with his former dream that she 
supposed it had dwelt on his mind, and begged of 
him to try to compose himself and go to sleep, 
which he did. A third time the same vision was 
repeated, on which, notwithstanding her entreaties 
that he would be quiet, and endeavour to forget it, 
he arose, being then between one and two o'clock, 
and dressed himself. 

"At breakfast the dreams were the sole subject of 
conversation, and in the forenoon Mr. Williams 
went to F^almouth, where he related the particulars 
of them to all his acquaintance that he met. 

" On the following day, ]\Ir. Tucker, of Trematon 
Castle, accompanied by his wife, a daughter of Mr. 
Williams, went to Scorricr House about dusk. 
Immediately after the first salutation, on their 
entering the parlour, where were Mr., Mrs., and 
Miss Williams, I\Ir. Williams began to relate to 
Mr. Tucker the circumstances of his dream ; and 
Mrs. Williams observed to her daughter, Mrs. 


Tucker, laughingly, that her father could not even 
suffer Mr. Tucker to be seated before he told him 
of his nocturnal visitation ; on the statement of 
which Mr, Tucker observed that it would do very 
well for a dream to have the Chancellor in the 
lobby of the House of Commons, but that he 
would not be found there in reality ; and Mr. 
Tucker then asked what sort of man he appeared 
to be, when Mr. Williams minutely described him ; 
to which Mr. Tucker replied : ' Your description is 
not at all that of the Chancellor, but is certainly 
very exactly that of Mr. Perceval, the Chancellor 
of the Exchequer, and although he has been to me 
the greatest enemy I ever met with through life, 
for a supposed cause which had no foundation in 
truth (or words to that effect), I should be exceed- 
ingly sorry, indeed, to hear of his being assassi- 
nated, or of any injury of the kind happening to 

" Mr. Tucker then inquired of Mr. Williams if he 
had ever seen Mr. Perceval, and was told that he 
never had seen him, nor had ever even written to him, 
either on public or private business ; in short, that 
he never had had anything to do with him, nor had 
he ever been in the lobby of the House of Com- 
mons in his life. 

" At this moment, whilst Mr. Williams and Mr. 
Tucker were still standing, they heard a horse 
gallop to the door of the House, and immediately 
after, Mr. Michael Williams of Trevince (son of 


Mr. Williams of Scorrier), entered the room and 
said that he had galloped out from Truro (from 
which Scorrier House is distant seven miles), 
having seen a gentleman there, who had come by 
that evening's mail from London, who said that he 
was in the lobby of the House of Commons, on the 
evening of the nth, when a man called Bellingham 
had shot Mr. Perceval, and that, as it might occa- 
sion some great ministerial changes, and might affect 
Mr. Tucker's political friends, he had come out as 
fast as he could to make him acquainted with it, 
having heard at Truro that he had passed through 
that place in the afternoon on his way to Scorrier. 

"After the astonishment which this intelligence 
had created had a little subsided, Mr. Williams 
described most particularly the appearance and 
dress of the man whom he had seen in his dream fire 
the pistol, as he had before done of Mr. Perceval. 

" About six weeks after, Mr. Williams, having 
business in town, went accompanied by a friend to 
the House of Commons, where (as has been already 
observed) he had never before been. Immediately 
that he came to the steps at the entrance of the 
lobby, he said : ' This place is as distinctly within 
my recollection in my dream, as any room in my 
house,' and he made the same observation when he 
entered the lobby. 

" He then pointed out the exact spot where 
Bellingham stood when he fired, and where Mr. Per- 
ceval had reached when he was struck by the ball, 


and where and how he fell. The dress, both of 
Mr. Perceval and Bellingham, agreed with the 
descriptions given by Mr. Williams, even to the 
most minute particular."^ 

The number of records in which it is believed 
that dreams have been the means by which murder 
has been discovered are so considerable ; and some 
are so well authenticated, that it is impossible, as 
it certainly would be presumptuous, to endeavour 
to set them aside. The murder of Maria Marten 
of Polstead in Suffolk, by William Corder, a 
farmer, in May of the year 1827, is a remarkable 
example : — 

This unfortunate woman was induced to leave 
her home, and having accompanied the man who, 
under the promise of marriage, had betrayed her, 
to a certain barn, was there cruelly murdered and 
buried under the floor. For nearly twelve months 
the murder was undiscovered ; for Corder, who re- 
mained away, but still communicated with her 
parents, maintained that she had married him ; 
that circumstances prevented his bringing her 
back to his father's home : but that in due course 
they would both come, though it was implied that 
they were both^on the Continent. 

* " The account here given of the Dream which occurred in 
Cornwall, is, as I personally testify, true and accurate. 
(Signed) Rachel L. Lee (daughter of the late Benjamin 
Tucker, of Trematon Castle, Esquire, and daughter-in-law 
of the late Rev. T. T. Lee, Vicar of Thame), Kentons, near 
Henley-on-Thames, May 14th, 1873." 


The mother of the murdered woman, however, 
about ten months after her daughter's death, dreamed 
that her daughter had been murdered, and buried 
under the floor of the barn. So strong and deep 
an impression did this make both on her relations 
and the people of the village, that the girl's father 
and others on April 19, 1828, took up the floor of 
the barn, where they discovered the body of the 
murdered woman in a sack ; and not so much de- 
cayed but that obvious marks of violence were 
perceptible. The body was successfully identified 
by the want of two teeth — one on the left side of 
the upper jaw, and the other on the right side 
of the lower. In the meantime Corder had mar- 
ried, and had gone to live in Essex, where he was 
apprehended, tried, and condemned on the strongest 
circumstantial evidence. He made a full confession 
of the murder when in prison, under sentence of 
death, and was executed in August, 1828. 

The following sets forth how an impressive, vivid, 
and twice-repeated dream induced a sailor to go 
to the place dreamed of, and rescue three suffering 
fellow-creatures from a horrible death. It was 
related to a Cornish friend, as a matter of fact, by 
a native of the island of Alderncy, and is quite 
worthy of being here recorded : — 

" Some few years before the erection of those 
well-known lighthouses called the Caskets, near 
that island, an islander dreamed that a ship had 
been wrecked near those rocks, and that some 


part of the crew had saved themselves upon them. 
This dream he related on the quay ; but the sailors 
(although the most superstitious people in the 
world) treated it as an idle fancy. Yet the next 
night produced the same dream, and the man would 
no longer be laughed out of it ; so he prevailed 
upon a companion the next morning to take a 
boat and gO with him to the rock, where they 
found three poor wretches half-starved with cold 
and hunger, and brought them on shore. This 
circumstance, and the supposed loss of the * Vic- 
tory' on this rock, the islanders give as a reason 
for erecting three lighthouses there." 

Still more remarkable perhaps is the following, 
which, telling its own story, and abundantly illus- 
trating the reality of the Supernatural, needs no 
comment : — 

" The Rev. Mr. Perring, Vicar of a parish which is 
now a component part of London, though, about 
forty-five years ago it had the appearance of a 
village at the outskirts, had to encounter the sad 
affliction of losing his eldest Son at an age when 
parents are encouraged to believe their children are 
to become their survivors ; the youth dying in his 
seventeenth year. He was buried in the vaults of 
the church. 

" Two nights subsequently to that interment, the 
father dreamed^ that he saw his Son habited in a 

' A friend who provided the above example writes to the 


shroud spotted with blood, the expression of his 
countenance being that of a person enduring some 
paroxysm of acute pain : ' Father, father ! come and 
defend me!' were the words he distinctly heard, as 
he gazed on this awe-inspiring apparition ; ' they 
will not let me rest quiet in my coffin.' 

" The venerable man awoke with terror and trem- 
bling ; but after a brief interval of painful reflection 
concluded himself to be labouring under the in- 
fluence of his sad day-thoughts, and the depression 
of past sufferings; and with these rational assurances 
commended himself to the All-Merciful, and slum- 
bered again and slept. 

" He saw his Son again beseeching him to protect 
his remains from outrage, ' For,' said the appa- 
rently surviving dead one, ' they are mangling my 
body at this moment.' The unhappy Father rose 
at once, being now unable to banish the fearful 
image from his mind, and determined when day 
should dawn to satisfy himself of the delusiveness 
or verity of the revelation conveyed through this 
seeming voice from the grave. 

"At an early hour, accordingly, he repaired to the 
Clerk's house, where the keys of the church and of 
the vaults were kept. The Clerk after considerable 
delay, came down-stairs, saying it was very unfor- 

Editor : — " I knew the family, and the circumstance of Mr. 
Perring's singular dream ; and can certainly testify to its 


tunate he should want them just on that very day, 
as his son over the way had taken them to the 
smith's for repair, — one of the largest of the bunch 
of keys having been broken off short in the main 
door of the vault, so as to render it impracticable 
for anybody to enter till the lock had been picked 
and taken off. 

" Impelled by the worst misgivings, the Vicar 
loudly insisted on the Clerk's accompanying him 
to the blacksmith's — not for a key but for a crow- 
bar, it being his resolute determination to enter 
the vault and see his Son's coffin without a moment's 

" The recollections of the dream were now be- 
coming more and more vivid, and the scrutiny 
about to be made assumed a solemnity mingled 
with awe, which the agitation of the father rendered 
terrible to the agents in this forcible interruption 
into the resting-place of the dead. But the hinges 
were speedily wrenched asunder — the bar and bolts 
were beaten in and bent beneath the heavy hammer 
of the smith, — and at length with tottering and 
outstretched hands, the maddened parent stumbled 
and fell : his son's cofhn had been lifted from the 
recess at the vault's side and deposited on the brick 
floor ; the lid, released from every screw, lay loose 
at top, and the body, enveloped in its shroud, on 
which were several dark spots below the chin, lay 
exposed to view ; the head had been raised, the 
broad riband had been removed from under the 


jaw, which now hung down with the most ghastly 
horror of expression, as if to tell with more terrific 
certainty the truth of the preceding night's vision. 
Every toot J l in tJie head had been drawn. 

" The young man had when living a beautiful set 
of sound teeth. The Clerk's Son, Avho was a barber, 
cupper, and dentist, had possessed himself of the 
keys, and eventually of the teeth, for the purpose of 
profitable employment of so excellent a set in his 
line of business. The feelings of the Rev. Mr. Perring 
can be easily conceived. The event affected his 
mind through the remaining term of his existence ; 
but what became of the delinquent whose sacri- 
legious 'hand had thus rifled the tomb was never 
afterwards correctly ascertained. He decamped 
the same day, and was supposed to have enlisted 
as a soldier. The Clerk was ignominiously displaced, 
and did not long survive the transaction. Some 
years afterwards, his house was pulled down to 
afford room for extensive imjDrovements and new 
buildings in the village. 

" As regards the occurrence itself, few persons 
were apprised of it ; as the Vicar— shunning public 
talk and excitement on the subject of any member 
of his family — exerted himself in concealing the 
circumstances as much as possible. The above facts, 
however, may be strictly relied on as accurate." 

A somewhat similar dream is recorded in the 
following statement, copied from the public prints, 
the fact of which has been authenticated by a 


correspondent in Scotland, who furnished the Editor 
with it. The paragraph, now to be quoted, appeared 
some years ago in the " Scotsman" newspaper, and 
was quoted in the "Times" of Tuesday, April 25, 

"The legal proceedings which lately took place in 
the Sheriff Court of Clackmannanshire, with regard 
to the violation of a grave in the churchyard at 
Alloa, and the unwarrantable exhumation of the 
body of James Quin, had their origin, it is stated, 
in a remarkable dream of the mother of the 
deceased. Young Quin died in September, 1863, 
and was buried in a lair in the churchyard, which 
was purchased by his father from William Donald- 
son, the Kirk Treasurer, it being agreed that the 
price was to be paid by instalments. About six 
months afterwards, Robert Blair, the sexton or 
grave-digger, took upon himself (without the autho- 
rity, it would appear, of Donaldson) to sell the same 
lair to another person, and to inter therein a relative 
of the new purchaser, without, however, at the time 
exhuming the body of Quin, the former tenant. 
Some considerable time after this the mother of 
Quin being desirous of erecting a head-stone on the 
grave of her son, made some inquiries with that view, 
in the course of which she heard something of 
another person having been buried in his grave, 
this having, as she stated, been 'cast up' by Blair's 
nephew to a younger son of hers on their way from 
Sunday-school. But the grave-digger denied the 


truth of this story, and managed to pacify her. 
Feeling, however, that he had got into a scrape by 
the lair having been resold, he, some weeks after 
Mrs. Ouin had interrogated him on the subject, 
dug up the body of her son during the night of 
Thursday, the 23rd of March last, and reinterred it 
in the other ground. Now, on that very Thursday 
night, as sworn to by Mrs. Ouin, at the trial, she 
had this remarkable dream : — 

" She dreamt that her boy stood in his night- 
gown, at her bedside, and said to her, ' Oh, mother, 
put me back to my own bed.' She then awoke her 
husband, and forgetting in her half-dreaming state 
that her son was dead, said to him, ' Jemmie is out 
of his bed ; put him back into it ;' after which she 
fell asleep, and again had the same dream. 

" A third time, during the same night, she dreamt 
that her son was standing beside her bed ; but on 
this occasion remembering that he was dead, the 
figure of the grave-digger was mixed up with that 
of the boy, and he appeared to be shoving his spade 
into the body. Awakening in great trepidation, 
and feeling certain that her boy had been taken out 
of his grave, she went to the grave-digger and 
vehemently accused him of having dug up the 
body, which, after prevarication, he at last admitted. 
Hence arose the action of damages against Donald- 
son, the Kirk Treasurer, and Blair, the grave-digger, 
which being restricted to twelve pounds was brought 
in the Small Debt Court. The Sheriff, after a long 


proof, assoilzied Donaldson, and found Blair liable 
in damages, which, the parties not having settled the 
same extrajudicially, have since been assessed at 
five pounds." 

Another dream, equally remarkable, by which a 
warning was given, and in a measure attended to 
by the dreamer, now follows ; although not so 
weirdly tragic as that relating to the Perring Family, 
yet it efficiently serves to shadow forth the prox- 
imity of the spiritual world ; and, it may be, in this 
example, the direct intervention of a guardian- 
angel : — 

" Some years ago a clergyman named W was 

visiting an old college friend, Canon Hutchinson of 
Blurton Vicarage, near Trentham, and being a good 
pedestrian, proposed to accomplish his journey 
home again from Trentham to Birmingham, which 
place he desired to reach by ten o'clock one 
morning, on foot. In order to do this he intended 
to leave Blurton at four o'clock a.m. on a certain 
day ; and so retired to rest the previous evening at' 
an unusually early hour. During the night he had 
a vivid and remarkable dream, which deeply im- 
pressed him. He dreamt that whilst he was on his 
walking journey between Tamworth and Sutton, 
upon a very lonely road enclosed by tall hedges, he 
heard a rough voice cry out, 'Ah, Jack, are you 
there .'' ' and looking round saw two exceedingly 
ill-looking men jumping down from an elevated 
part of the bank under the hedge, and alighting 


close to him on the path below. Their countenances 
and suspicious bearing seemed to bespeak their evil 
intentions. Presently one of them all of a sudden 
presented a pistol at him. The clergyman imagined 
that he had only a moment or two in which to 
commend his soul to God, which he did with 
earnestness, when the pistol was fired and his life 
thus taken away. Here the dream ended and he 
awoke. It left an uneasy impression on his mind, 
but being naturally of an undaunted spirit, and a 
firm believer in the protection of Almighty God, he 
did not hesitate to leave his friend's house at the 
early period determined on. After walking for 
about an hour and a half, and when a few miles 
from Sutton Coldfield, where all of a sudden, as 
regards locality, he realized the minutest details of 
the dream, two men coming through the hedge 
suddenly overtook him. One addressed the other 
in the words already set forth. They were in every 
particular,, even to features, dress, and demeanour, 
identical with those whom he had seen in the 
dream. They accompanied him, keeping close to 
his side, and watched him with very mysterious 
looks. He was deeply startled and alarmed, but 
lifted up his heart to God for guidance, direction, 
and protection. Soon they all reached a broad and 
dreary common, upon the extreme distant edge of 
which stood a small inn, whither he resolved to go 
for refreshment in the hope of shaking off his com- 
panions. Here for awhile they separated ; but, on 


entering the house and asking to be supplied with 
tea, he found that the two men had followed him, 
and were asking for refreshments likewise. After 
waiting for some time, he deterrtiiried on leaving 
the inn by a path at its back entrance, which, from 
knowing something of the locality, he believed 
would take him by a nearer way to Sutton Coldfield. 
This turned out to be the case ; for by his action 
he successfully avoided the two tramps, who were 
afterwards taken up and imprisoned for some 
marked offence against the laws of the land." ^ 

A warning of a very similar character may now 
be narrated, in which the curious point seems to be 
that it was given so many years before it was 
needed, though its efficiency was fully made mani- 
fest when the actual danger threatened : — 

" The Housekeeper of a county family in Oxford- 
shire dreamt one night that she had been left alone 
in the house upon a Sunday evening, and that 
hearing a knock at the door of the chief entrance, 
she went to it, and there found an ill-looking tramp 
armed with a bludgeon, who insisted on forcing 
himself into the house. She thought that she 
struggled for some time to prevent him so doing, 
but quite ineffectually ; and that being struck down 

' From a Letter dated Nov. i, 1872, in the handwriting of 
the Widow of the Clergyman in question, kindly communi- 
cated to the Editor by the Rev. Theodore J. Morris, Vicar of 
Hampton in Arden, near Birmingham. 


by him and rendered insensible, he thereupon gained 
ingress to the mansion. On this she awoke. 

" She at once mentioned her dream to some of 
her fellow-servants, and also, a few days later, to 
the Master of the House. The latter, smiling, 
pooh-poohed it ; but remarked that ' all the greater 
care should be taken by the servants to see that the 
fastenings were secure.' 

"As nothing happened for a considerable period, 
the circumstance of the dream was soon forgotten ; 
and, as she herself asserts, had altogether passed 
away from her mind. However, many years after- 
wards, this same Housekeeper was left with two 
other servants to take charge of an isolated mansion 
at Kensington (subsequently the town residence of 
the family), when, on a certain Sunday evening, her 
fellow-servants having gone out and left her alone, 
she was suddenly startled by a loud knock at the 
front door. 

" All of a sudden the remembrance of her former 
dream returned to her with singular vividness and 
remarkable force, and she felt her lonely isolation 
greatly. Accordingly, having at once lighted a 
lamp on the hall table — during which act the loud 
knock was repeated with vigour — she took the pre- 
caution to go up to a landing on the stair, throw up 
the window, and there, to her intense terror, she 
saw in the flesh the very man whom years previously 
she had seen in her dream, armed with a bludgeon 
and demanding an entrance. With great presence 


of mind she went down to the chief entrance, made 
that and other doors and windows more secure, and 
then rang the various bells of the house violently, 
and placed lights in the upper roonis. It was con- 
cluded that by these acts the intruder was scared 
away. It turned out afterwards that the lodge- 
keeper, having left two children to guard the en- 
trance, they had been terrified into admitting the 
tramp into the garden ; and that the latter had 
fastened them into the lodge, where they were 
found in a considerable state of alarm by the two 
servants on their return home." ^ 

Another example of a warning attended to, which 
had been given in a dream, and acted upon imme- 
diately afterwards, comes to the Editor on conclusive 
evidence of its undoubted truth and authenticity : 

A Scotch lady, a relation of the late J. R. Hope 
Scott, Esq., of Abbotsford, dreamt that her nephew, 
a promising young student of the University of 
Edinburgh, had been drowned with two companions 

' The following document was drawn up about thirteen 
years ago, and given to the Editor with the above account by 
an Oxford friend : — 

" This is to certify that in 1840 I dreamt the Dream 
about the strange man coming to the front door and forcing 
himself in ; and that seven years afterwards, that is in 1847, 
what I had seen in my dream occurred in London, when, 
having heard knocks at the door when I was alone in 
the house, I saw the man outside the door whom I had seen 
in my dream seven years before. 

" Hannah Green. 

" Wootton, Oxfordshire, August 5, 1861." 


with whom he had made an engagement to take 
an excursion by boat on the Frith of Forth. So 
much impressed was she by this dream, that she 
rose two hours earher than usual in the morning, 
and sent off her man-servant at once to prevail upon 
her nephew to give up his engagement. On being 
pressed he did so. His companions (who had also 
been warned not to go,) went without him, and 
alone, that is, without an experienced sailor. The 
boat was capsized and they were both drowned. 

In the case which is now to follow, the warning 
given, not having been acted upon at once, came 
too late. It was narrated to the Editor, viva voce, 
in 1866, by the late Dr. J. M. Neale :— 

" In the autumn of the year 1845, one of the maid- 
servants of the then rector of Shepperton, a village 
on the Thames, near Chertsey, dreamed that her 
brother, a respectable and steady youth belonging 
to that place, was drowned. The dream was singu- 
larly vivid. In it she further imagined that she 
actually went to search for her brother's body, and 
that, after seeking for some time, she found it at a 
certain part of the river, which she knew well, near 
the brink, and in a particular position. This dream 
took place on a Saturday night. When she awoke 
on the Sunday morning, she at once acquainted 
her fellow-servant (who saw how deep an impres- 
sion the dream had evidently made), and remarked 
that she ought at once to obtain her master's leave 
to go home on the morrow, and warn her brother, 


who was unable to swim, not to go out on to the 
river. The leave was given, and her home was soon 
reached, but alas ! the warning had come too late. 
Her brother had gone rowing on the Sunday even- 
ing, the boat was accidentally upset, and he was 
drowned. The body was not recovered for some 
time ; nor was it found near the spot where the acci- 
dent had happened. But it was found by the poor 
youth's sister, lower down the river, and exactly in 
the same place and position as had been so forcibly 
and clearly prefigured in her impressive dream." 

The following example of a dream which occurred 
about twenty years ago, by which the fact of a 
murder was made known, being likewise well 
authenticated and of considerable interest, is now 
set forth : — 

" On Saturday, the 30th of July, 1853, the dead 
body of a young woman was discovered in a field 
at Littleport, in the isle of Ely. The body has not 
yet been identified, and there can be little doubt 
that the young woman was murdered. At the 
adjourned inquest, held on the 29th August before 
Mr. William Marshall, one of the coroners for the 
Isle, the following extraordinary evidence was 
given : — 

" James Jessop, an elderly, respectable-looking 
labourer, with a face of the most perfect stolidity, 
and who possessed a most curiously-shaped skull, 
broad and flat on the top, and projecting greatly 
on each side over the ears, deposed — ' I live about 
a furlong and a half from where the body was 


found. I have seen the body of the deceased. I 
have never seen her before her death. On the 
night of Friday, the 29th of July, I dreamt three 
successive times that I heard the cry of murder 
issuing from near the bottom of a close called 
Little Ditchment Close (the place where the body 
was found). The first time I dreamt I heard the cry 
it awoke me. I fell asleep again and dreamt the 
same thing. I then awoke again and told my wife 
I could not rest, but I dreamt it again after that. 
I got up between four and five o'clock, but I did 
not go down to the close, the wheat and barley 
in which has been since cut. 

" ' I dreamt once about twenty years ago that 
I saw a woman hanging in a barn, and on passing 
the next morning the barn which had appeared to 
me in my dream, I entered and did find a woman 
there hanging, and cut her down in time to save 
her life. I never told my wife that I heard cries of 
" murder," but I have mentioned it to several per- 
sons since. I saw the body on the Saturday it was 
found. I did not mention my dream to any one till 
a day or two after that. I saw the field distinctly 
in my dream and the trees therein, but I saw no 
person in it. On the night of the murder the wind 
lay from that spot to my house.' 

" Rhoda Jessop, wife of the last witness, stated 
that her husband related his dreams to her on the 
evening of the day that the body was found." ' 

' " Notes and Queries," Sept. 24, 1S53. 


Another case, deeply interesting, and certainly 
more dramatic in the nature and importance of the 
very practical results which followed from the 
action taken upon it, than even 'that already re- 
corded of the Perring family (for it greatly benefited 
the living), is now narrated. The interesting ac- 
count, which, with the greatest simplicity, and in 
the actual words of the persons advantaged, records 
the plain facts, tells its own story with considerable 
power. Frivolous and pointless as are so many 
dreams, without intelligible purpose or sequence of 
action, this is one which it may be reasonably held 
can only be explained by a firm belief in a super- 
intending Providence, in other words in Almighty 
God, Who, as an old writer asserts, " sometimes 
warneth and instructeth in dreams," and Who 
mercifully uses the ministry both of angels and 
men for carrying out His Divine purpose : — 

" A Gloucestershire gentleman in good circum- 
stances, who for many years had lived a retired 
life, quite apart from his relations, some of whom 
in a previous year had been cast in a lawsuit 
with him for the recovery of certain properties, 
suddenly died, and, as was supposed, died in- 

" He had long intended, at the advice of the Rector 
of the village in which he dwelt, and with whom 
alone he was on terms of intimacy, to make cer- 
tain provisions by will on behalf of the relations in 
question, who had lost much by his successful law- 
suit. However, this (as was believed by his family 


lawyer, residing in an adjacent countrytown, who 
proceeded to settle his affairs) had not been done ; 
and the whole of his property consequently seemed 
likely to go to his heir-at-law, a man of property, 
almost unknown to him. 

" Five months after his death, however, the Rector 
of the parish in which he had lived, had what he 
termed ' a waking dream,' in which he imagined 
that the deceased gentleman came to him in sor- 
row, and solemnly conjured him to obtain posses- 
sion of a Will, which had been duly made by him 
in London a few months before his decease, and 
which was in the custody of a firm of attorneys 
there, which Will was so drawn as that the relations 
in question should greatly benefit by the just and 
righteous disposition therein of his property. Ima- 
gining the dream to be only a dream and nothing 
more, he took no notice of it, and regarded it 
as the mere result of his own imagination. 

" In about a fortnight, however, the identical 
dream occurred again — with the simple difference 
that the deceased gentleman bore an expression of 
deeper grief, and appeared to urge him, in still 
stronger terms, to obtain the Will. The Rector 
was much impressed by this ; but on careful reflec- 
tion upon the following day, appeared indisposed, 
on such testimony, to interfere with arrangements 
which were then being made for the settlement of 
the deceased person's affairs, on the supposition 
that he had left no Will. And consequently he 
did nothing. 


" A third time, however, about eight days after- 
wards, he had the same dream, with certain addi- 
tional details of import and moment. The de- 
ceased person, as the Rector imagined, appearing 
once again, urged him most vehemently and 
solemnly to do as he wished, and to go and obtain 
the Will. A conversation took place as it were in 
the dream, and the clergyman set forth many 
cogent arguments why he should not be called 
upon to undertake a work, which might not only 
be misunderstood, but might render him liable to 
misrepresentations, if not to trouble and an- 

" However, at last he consented, and, in his 
dream, accompanied the deceased person to a 
certain lawyer's office at a certain number, on a 
certain floor in Staple Inn, on the south side of 
Holborn, where the drawer in a writing-table was 
opened, and he saw the packet containing the Will 
sealed in three places, with the deceased person's 
armorial bearings. The whole room was before 
him vividly. It was panelled in oak, picked out 
with white and pale green, and over the mantel- 
piece hung an engraving of Lord Eldon. 

" The Rector awoke, and resolved without delay 
to do as he was enjoined. Before proceeding, he 
mentioned the circumstance of the thrice-repeated 
dream to a clerical friend, who volunteered to ac- 
company him to London on his important errand. 

" They went together. Neither had ever been to 


Staple Inn before ; nor did they know its exact 
whereabouts. On inquiry, how^ever, it w^as soon 
found. And so was the room and office, with the fur- 
niture and print of Lord Eldon, which liad been seen 
beforehand by the Rector in the dream, to his intense 
awe and wonderment. Even the pecuhar handles 
of the writing-table, which were of brass and old- 
fashioned, were those which had been clearly ap- 
parent. The identical drawer was opened, and the 
Will, secured in an envelope of stout paper and 
sealed with three impressions, was found, just as it 
had been seen in the dream. The lawyer, who at 
once gave every facility for inquiry, was a junior 
partner in the firm which had drawn it up, and had 
only recently come to London, from a cathedral 
city, where the firm in question had a branch office, 
on the death of the chief partner. The Will was 
found to be good and valid, and was in due course 
proved. Under it the relations, who had so suffered 
by the loss of their law-suit as to have been almost 
reduced to penury, obtained their due. The whole 
of these facts are vouched for by a friend of the 
Editor of this book."^ 

' " I have carefully read the account which you have so 
nicely written out from my own and my brother's Letters ; 
and have also twice read the same to my mother and 
brother. Both join with me in testifying to its absolute 
truth and perfect accuracy. Our account was taken down 

from the lips of the Rector of himself. We, indeed, 

have reason to believe in the Supernatural." 


The following example of presentiment of death 
is also well authenticated. It occurred on board 
one of the ships of the Royal Navy at Portsmouth 
in the year 1850. From the MS. account, fur- 
nished by one thoroughly able to give an exact 
record, the following is taken : — 

" The officers being one day at the Mess-table, a 

young Lieutenant R suddenly laid down his 

knife and fork, pushed away his plate, and turned 
extremely pale. He then rose from the table, 
covering his face with his hands, and retired from 
the room. The President of the mess, supposing 
him to be ill, sent one of the young men to inquire 

what was the matter. At first Mr. R was 

unwilling to speak ; but, on being pressed, he con- 
fessed that he had been seized by a sudden and 
irresistible impression that a brother he had in 
India was dead. 'He died,' said he, 'on the 12th 
of August at six o'clock, I am perfectly sure of it' 
No argument could overthrow this conviction, 
which, in due course of post, was verified to the 
letter. The young man had died at Cawnpore at 
the precise period mentioned." 

Under the heading of "Singular Prognostication," 
"The Times" of April the 17th, 1865, copies from 
the " Cornish Telegraph " the narrative of a then 
recent dream of a young clergyman of the county 
of Cornwall, which was almost immediately fol- 
lowed by the accidental death of the dreamer : — 

" On Wednesday last, the Rev. Stephen Barclay 


Drury, an unmarried clergyman of twenty-six, who 
has for about twelv^e months acted as the curate of 
Phillack and Gwithian, had a conversation with the 
brother of the Rector of those parishes,^ Mr. 
Charles Hockin, and related a dream, which he 
described as a very singular one, and as having 
made a deep impression on him. 

" His words were : ' I dreamt I was to be 
buried, and I followed my coffin into the church, 
and thence to the tomb. I took no part in the 
service, and when we came to the tomb, I looked 
into it, and saw it was very nice. I then asked the 
undertaker who was to be buried, and he answered, 
" You." I then said, " I am not to be buried, I am 
not dead." The undertaker then said, " I must be 
paid for the coffin," upon which I awoke.' 

" On Sunday morning and afternoon Mr. Drury 
officiated at Gwithian, and after the second servdce 
remained with the children to practise singing. 

" Returning to his lodgings in Gwithian at half- 
past four, he waited a little, took with him Thomas 
a Kempis' ' De Imitatione Christi,' and set out 
for a walk, accompanied by a Newfoundland dog. 
He asked for a bit of cord, as he might give the 
dog a dip, and started in his usually cheerful and 
happy mood. In an hour and a half the dog re- 
turned with the cord around his neck. 

' The Rector of Phillack and Gwithian, near Hayle in 
Cornwall, is the Rev. Frederick Hockin, M.A. and Rural 


" Mr. Drury was never again seen alive. His 
absence throughout the night occasioned no sur- 
prise, as he sometimes went to, and slept at 
Copperhouse, two miles off. 

" On Monday morning a Gwinear miner, in quest 
of seaweed at low water, near the rocky shore of 
Godrevy, saw Mr. Drury's body in a pool seventy 
or eighty yards from the sea. 

"An inquest, under the county coroner, Mr. 
John Roscoria, was held on Tuesday at Gwithian, 
when these circumstances were elicited, and a ver- 
dict was returned of ' Found Drowned.' 

"From the facts, however, that Mr. Drury had 
never shown the least signs of depression, that he 
started with the expressed intention of giving the 
dog a dip, and that he was very near-sighted, the 
general inference is that the unfortunate gentleman 
slipped on the rocks, was stunned, fell into the 
water, and so casually and singularly fulfilled his 
strange dream of a few days previously." 

A somewhat similar prognostication was had in 
the case of Captain Speer, which may properly be 
put on record, for, as in the case already narrated, 
it turned out to be a true warning of impending 
death : 

Captain Speer, an officer of the 3rd Surrey 
Militia, and a magistrate for the county of Surrey,^ 

' He is described as " Wilfred D. Speer, Esq., of West 
End Lodge, Thames Ditton, a magistrate for the County of 
Surrey, and a captain in the Militia of that county." 


lately met his death under remarkable circum- 
stances. The " Quebec Mercury" says : — " Captain 
W. D. Speer passed the last winter among us. 
During- part of it, he had some fine sport on the 
north shore of the S. Lawrence, in company with 
Captain Knox and Lieutenant Duthie, of the loth 
Royal Artillery. This spring he made a tour 
through the States and West Indies, with Major 
Leslie, R.A., returning only for a few days, to set 
out again on what has, alas ! proved to be his last 
expedition.^ Strange to say, he stated to several 
gentlemen, just before setting out, that he had had 
a dream in which he distinctly saw a coffin with 
the name of 'W. D. Speer, died June 17th, 1867,' 
on it ; and in writing to a lady three weeks pre- 
viously,"^ he said in a joke that one reason for 
addressing her was his own approaching end. The 
date of his death is not known,^ but it must have 
been on the day he named, or very near it. It 
appears that he was going to his cabin on board 
the IMississippi steamer, which was at anchor, and 

' " Statement of the Circumstances attending the Death of 
Wilfred D. Speer, Esq., with copies of Testimony and Corre- 
spondence." London, Ontario : John Cameron, Dundas Street, 
West, 8vo. pp. 12, 1867. 

'' " If my dream come true, I am certainly approaching 
my latter end, and have only a little time longer in this 
world." Attested copy of Captain Wilfred Speer's Letter, 
given to the Editor by the Rev. John Richardson, of Warwick. 

' He was shot dead on the night of the 17th of June, 1867, 
on board a steamboat on the Alissoui-i. 


somewhere in the neighbourhood of the Indian dis- 
turbances ; when in the middle of the night he was 
shot dead by a sentry, who omitted to challenge 

On this remarkable incident a Letter was written, 
from which the following extract may fittingly be 
put on record here : 

" It seems the account of the dream was true, 
as Major Terry told Mr. Kempson, that he had 
heard the letter read in which he [Captain Speer] 
related the circumstance. Singular, was it not } I 
trust it may have taken some little effect on his 
mind, but I fear he was not one to attach any im- 
portance to such a warning. However, I do hope 
he did, for it is so awful to think of anyone in pure 
health and spirits being ushered into Eternity with- 
out one moment's preparation." From a Letter, 
dated August loth, 1867, signed " Anne M. Kemp- 
son, Richmond Hill, Surrey, S.W." 

Another example of a warning given in a dream 
(but neglected) may now be put on record : 

A few years ago a serious accident occurred in 
the village of Bulmer, in Yorkshire, to a pic-nic 
party going to Castle Howard. The party made 
the journey in an omnibus, and it seems that the 
wife of one of the men hesitated to join the others, 
and tried to persuade her husband not to go, be- 
cause she asserted that she had dreamt a week be- 
fore that they were in an omnibus, and were upset 
on going through a village and greatly injured, the 


fright awakening her. The man and his wife how- 
ever did go ; but on reaching Bulmer, the woman 
became greatly excited. Not only, she remarked, 
was the omnibus that which she had seen in her 
dream, but the village was the one in which the 
accident she dreamt of appeared to happen. The 
words were scarcely uttered when the omnibus was 
upset and a scene of great confusion resulted. 
Those on the outside were thrown to the ground 
with great violence ; one man was rendered insen- 
sible by the omnibus falling upon him, and several 
sustained rather serious injuries. The woman to 
whom the accident was revealed beforehand, was 
herself badly hurt ; but her husband's was the 
worst case, he sustaining a dislocation of an ankle. 
Medical aid was quickly procured, the sufferers were 
relieved, and afterwards conveyed to their homes. 
Every incident of the accident seems to have been 
pictured in the premonitory dream. 

A remarkable presentiment by means of a dream 
is related in the second section of the first volume 
of the " Museum of Wonders," and is to the follow- 
ing effect. Though not new, it is so exceptionally 
curious as to be quite worthy of reproduction here : — 

"A short time before the Princess Natgotsky, of 
Warsaw, travelled to Paris, she had the following 
dream : — She dreamed that she found herself in an 
unknown apartment, when a man who was likewise 
unknown to her, came to her with a cup, and pre- 
sented it to her to drink out of. She replied that 


she was not thirsty, and thanked him for his offer. 
The unknown individual repeated his request, and 
added that she ought not to refuse it any longer, 
for it would be the last she would ever drink in her 
life. At this she was greatly terrified and awoke. 

"In October, 1720, the Princess arrived at Paris, 
in good health and spirits ; and occupied a furnished 
hotel, where soon after her arrival she was seized 
with a violent fever. She immediately sent for the 
King's celebrated physician, the father of Helvetius. 
The physician came, and the Princess showed 
striking marks of astonishment. She was asked the 
reason of it, and gave for answer that the physician 
perfectly resembled the man whom she had seen 
at Warsaw in a dream ; but added she, 'I shall not 
die this time, for this is not the same apartment 
which I saw on that occasion in my dream.' 

"The Princess was soon after completely restored, 
and appeared to have altogether forgotten her 
dream, when a new incident reminded her of it in 
a most forcible manner. She was dissatisfied with 
her lodgings at the hotel, and therefore requested 
that a dwelling might be prepared for her in a con- 
vent at Paris, which was accordingly done. The Prin- 
cess removed to the convent, but scarcely had she 
entered the apartment destined for her, than she 
began to exclaim aloud : ' It is all over with me ; I 
shall not come out of this room again alive, for it 
is the same that I saw at Warsaw in my dream ! ' 
She died in reality not long afterward in the same 


room, In the beginning of the year 1721, of an ulcer 
in the throat, occasioned by the drawing of a tooth." 

"This dream," observes Jung Stilling, from whose 
work the account of it is transcribed, " proceeded 
from a good angel, who wished to attract the atten- 
tion of the Princess to her approaching end." 

A dignitary of the Church of England, of rank 
and reputation, courteously furnishes the Editor with 
the following remarkable Dream, which occurred to 
himself, — alas ! so completely fulfilled. Another 
account of the same, almost identical in terms, was 
sent to him from another quarter. But he prefers 
putting on record the former : ' — 

"My brother had left London for the country to 
preach and speak on behalf of a certain Church 
Society, to which he was officially attached. He 
was in his usual health, and I was therefore in no 
special anxiety about him. One night my wife 
woke me, finding that I was sobbing in my sleep, 
and asked me what it was. I said, ' I have been to 
a strange place in my dream. It was a small village, 
and I went up to the door of an inn, if so it might 
be called, though it really was a decent public- 
house. A stout woman came to the door. I said 
to her, 'Is my brother here.-'' She said, 'No, sir, 

' The following Letter has been received by the Editor 
from the dignitary in question: — "Nov. 6, 1S74. Rev. and 
dear Sir, I only wish that my name should not be published. 
The statement, as written out by me, is entirely at your ser- 
vice To the Rev. Dr. Lee." 



he is gone.' * Is his wife here ? ' I went on to 
enquire. ' No, sir, but his widow is.' Then the dis- 
tressing thought rushed upon me that my brother 
was dead : and I awoke sobbing. ' 

" A few days after, I was summoned suddenly 
into the country. My brother returning from Hun- 
tingdon had been attacked with angi7ia pectoris ; 
and the pain was so intense that they left him at 
Caxton (a small village in the diocese of Ely), 
to which place on the following day he summoned 
his wife : and the next day, while they were seated 
together, she heard a sigh and he was gone. 

"When I reached Caxton, it zvas the very same 
village to which I had gone i)i my dream. I went to 
the same honse, zvas met and let in by tJie same woman; 
and fonnd my brother dead, and his widow there!' 

One of the most striking and well-authenticated 
cases of a Warning given in a Dream and acted 
upon, by which a grave temporal danger was actually 
averted, remains to be put on record now. The 
case is related with great simplicity by one who has 
carefully investigated the circumstances of both the 
dreams ; and nothing is required on the Editor's 
part, either to enlarge on any detail of it or to 
point its moral : — 
~ " Knowing as I do intimately," writes the corre- 
spondent in question, " the Widow of an Irish clergy- 
man who was warned by a dream of the railway 
accident which took place a few years ago at 
Abergele, in North Wales, I give you gladly the 
following particulars : — 


" About a fortnight before the accident occurred, 
my friend, the lady in question, had a dream in 
which her husband, who had been dead for three 
years, appeared to her, as she thought. This oc- 
curred on the night which followed the day on 
which she had settled and arranged with some 
friends to make a journey by railway. She dreamed 
that her husband was still living, and that she and 
he were walking on the sea-shore of North Wales, 
close to which the railway to Holyhead passes, when 
they came to a tunnel,^ from which, all of a sudden, 
volumes of the blackest smoke were pouring out, 
and which became so dense that the sky was quite 
overcast. Alarmed at this, they hastily went for- 
ward together towards its mouth, when it seemed to 
be all on fire ; the crackling and roar of which was 
quite unusual. In a moment or two the sounds of 
frantic cries of men and women wildly shrieking 
seemed to come from out of the mouth of the tunnel ; 
and then, as if to add to the horror of what had 
already appeared, another train, full of people and at 
express speed, came up and dashed through smoke 
and flame into the tunnel itself. Upon this the lady 
awoke, and so deep an impression had the dream 
made (for it unhinged her for some days), that she 
resolved to postpone her journey, which she did. 
Had she gone at the time appointed and arranged, 

' It seems that as a matter of fact there is no tunnel near 
the scene of the accident, but a long, level line of railway, 
very near the margin of the sea. At least so a correspondent 
who knows the locality well has informed me. — Editor. 


she and her friends would have travelled by the 
very train — the passengers of which were burnt by 
the explosion of petroleum. 

" The most curious part of this interesting record 
has yet to be told. On the same night upon which 
this lady had this dream-warning, her own daughter, 
a child of nine years of age, who was staying with 
some relations nearly sixty miles from home, had 
likewise a dream, in which she thought she saw two 
trains meeting each other on one line of railway, in 
one of which her mother was seated, and in the 
other one of her mother's friends (who was to have 
travelled with her). The trains seemed to be going 
at a great rate, and when the collision actually took 
place, the child at once awoke. On the following 
morning she recounted her dream to her relations : 
but at the time they took no notice of it, though it 
formed the subject of a general conversation regard- 
ing dreams. It was only when (as was afterwards 
discovered) her mother had possibly escaped the 
frightful disaster of a railway accident, and probably 
a very painful death, that the fact of her child having 
had the dream on the night of her own warning 
and mentioned it, was specially remarked and noted 

A prognostication, or rather a personal Presenti- 
ment of impending death, and that death the result 
of an accident, will fittingly be recorded here : — 

At the village of Bloxwich, in the diocese of 
Lichfield, a miner resided, well known to the person 


who communicated the following occurrence to the 
Editor of this volume : — " One morning in 1872, on 
his way to the pit's mouth, the miner had a strong 
presentiment that he should be killed at his work. 
He returned home, communicated his impressions 
to his wife (who expostulated with him for being 
so fanciful and superstitious), and then insisted on 
seeing all his children. They were assembled. He 
took down his Prayer Book and Bible, read a 
chapter from the latter, and afterwards said some of 
his accustomed prayers. Then affectionately greet- 
ing wife and children, he went to his work, with the 
same strange but vivid presentiment of approaching 
death upon him; as his wife so clearly testifies. He 
had not been at work many minutes when he was 
suddenly crushed to death by the fall of a rock." 

These facts are duly authenticated by persons 
who obtained the account from the man's widow on 
the day of his burial, and have supplied them 
directly to the Editor. 

The following cases, equally remarkable, are 
taken from the " Standard " newspaper : — 

" Sir, — I beg to acquaint you of a very singular 
event which occurred here yesterday. On Saturday 
night a villager named Andrew Scott dreamed of 
being along the coast on S. Cyrus' Sands, and 
finding a man among the rocks under Whitson 
Houses. On Sabbath morning after breakfast he 
cleaned himself, and told his wife he would go and 
see if there was anything in his dream, taking another 


man with him to whom he made known his errand ; 
and on arriving at the spot where he expected to 
find the man, sure enough there was the drowned 
man, washing amongst the rocks, just as seen in his 
dream. He was taken ashore, reported to the 
S. Cyrus' authorities, and to-day he is to be interred. 
He is supposed to be one of the men belonging to 
the 'Providence,' wrecked on Dec. 19. I have the 
honour to be, sir, your most obedient servant, 

" Daniel Hamilton. 
" Johnshaven, Kincardineshire, Jan. 20." 

"At an inquest held on Monday afternoon at 
James Bridge, near Wolverhampton, on the body of 
a collier named Samuel Tinley, who had been killed 
in a pit there by a fall of rock strata, it transpired 
that during the previous night he awoke, saying he 
had a ton of rock on his head, though he had no 
headache. He was convinced it boded ill, and was 
reluctant to go to work. Upon being urged to go 
by his wife, he went to his child and saying, ' Let 
me have my last kiss,' went to the pit and was killed. 
It was further shown that a cousin of his, who is a 
close friend, was returning home from working a 
night-shift, when he said he saw the deceased stand- 
ing before him in the road. Instead of going home 
to bed he went to the deceased's house, to which 
place the news of the death had just been brought, 
but altogether unknown to the cousin.^ At the 

' " Having made enquiries regarding the fact of Tinley's 


inquest a yet more remarkable case, that had come 
before the same coroner in the same locahty, was 

So much as to examples and records of extra- 
ordinary Dreams, Warnings by Visions, and Presen- 
timents. The subject of Omens may now be briefly 
touched upon. An " omen " has been defined to be 
"a token or sign of good or ill;" "a boding or 
foreboding;" "a prognostic," Some of the fol- 
lowing arc of such a character as that they are very 
suitably considered both in connection with events 
already described and with those yet to be nar- 

It has been forcibly and appropriately remarked, 
though not perhaps in any marked or specific 
Christian spirit, that Omens constitute the poetry 
of history. They cause the series of events which 
they are supposed to declare to flow into epical 
unity, and the political catastrophe seems to be 
produced, not by prudence or by folly, but by 
the superintending destiny. 

The case of theTichborne Prophecy, in connection 
with the well-known ancient Dole of that family, 
is so curious (having been in part recently fulfilled), 
that it may not only be set forth in detail, but may 

remarkable dream, which seemed to foreshadow his death by 
the well-known accident, I can testify to the truth that he had 
such a dream, and that he regarded it as a sign of coming 
death. " A. Rutherford, Wolverhampton. 

"July 14, 1874." 


reasonably find a place at this particular part of 
this book. For the following version the Editor is 
indebted to a near connection of the family : — 

" The Tichbornes date their possession of the 
present patrimony, the manor of Tichborne, so 
far back as two hundred years before the Con- 
quest. When the Lady Mabella/ worn out with 
age and infirmity, was lying on her deathbed, 
she besought her loving husband. Sir Roger Tich- 
borne, as her last request, that he would grant her 
the means of leaving behind her a charitable be- 
quest, in a Dole of Bread to be distributed to all 
who should apply for it annually on the Feast of 
Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Sir 
Roger, her husband, readily acceded to her request 
by promising the produce of as much land as she 
could go over in the vicinity of the Park while a 
certain brand or billet was burning, supposing that, 
from her long infirmity (for she had been bedridden 
some years), she would be able to go round a small 
portion only of his property. The venerable dame, 
however, ordered her attendants to convey her to 
the corner of the Park, where, being deposited on 
the ground, she seemed to regain a renovation of 
strength ; and to the surprise of her anxious and 
admiring lord, who began to wonder where this 
pilgrimage might end, she crawled round several 
rich and goodly acres. 

' Sir Roger Tichborne, Knt. of Tichborne, flourished in 
the reign of Henry II. He married Mabella, daughter and 
sole heiress of Ralph de Lamerston, in the Isle of Wight. 


" The field which was the scene of Lady Mabella's 
extraordinary feat retains the name of ' The Crawls ' 
to this day. It is situated near the entrance to 
the Park, and contains an area of twenty-three 

" Her task being completed, she was re-conveyed 
to her chamber ; and, summoning her family to her 
bedside, predicted its prosperity while the annual Dole 
existed, and left her solemn Curse, uttered in God's 
most Holy Name, on any of her descendants who 
should be so mean or covetous as to discontinue or 
divert it, prophesying that ivhcn such should happen 
the old house should fall, and the family name would 
become extinct from tJie failure of Jieirs male ; and that 
this would be foretold by a generation of seven sons 
being followed immediately after by a generation of 
seven daughters a7id no son. 

" The custom thus founded in the reign of Henry 
n. continued to be observed for centuries ; and our 
Lady's Day, the 25th of March, became the annual 
festive-day of the family. It was not until the 
middle of the last century that the custom was 
abused ; when, under the pretence of attending the 
Tichborne Dole, vagabonds, gipsies, and idlers of 
every description, assembled from all quarters, 
pilfering throughout the neighbourhood ; and, at 
last, the gentry and magistrates complaining, it 
was discontinued in 1796. Singularly enough, the 
baronet of that day, Sir Henry Tichborne,^ had seven 

' Sir Henry Tichborne, born in 1756, married in 1778 


sons, and, when he was succeeded by the eldest, 
there appeared a generation of seven daughters, 
while the apparent fulfilment of the prophecy was 
completed by the change of the name of the late 
baronet to Doughty, under the will of his kins- 
woman. (This allusion is to Sir Edward Doughty, 
ninth baronet, who inherited the 'Doughty' estate, 
then Mr. Edward Tichborne.)" 

Here is the record of a weird and obvious 
Omen :^- 

" The Duke of Somerset, the great sacrilegious 
nobleman of Henry VHI.'s reign, who worked such 
mischief and perpetrated such robberies on God's 
poor, is said to have been more than once warned 
of his coming death upon the scaffold, by the 
appearance of a Bloody Hand stretched out from 
the panelled wall of the corridor of his mansion ; 
and it is also reported that the Hand was visible to 
his duchess as well as to himself" 

And here is the narrative of a remarkable Dream, 
as well as of a singular coincidence : — 

" Sir Thomas White, Alderman of London, was a 
very rich man, charitable and public-spirited. He 
dreamed that he had founded a college at a place 
where three elms grew out of one root. He went 

Elizabeth Plowden, and had seven sons, viz. i. Henry, 2. Ben- 
jamin, 3. Edward, 4. James, 5. John, 6. George, and 7. Roger. 
His eldest son Henry, who married Anne, daughter of Sir 
Thomas Burke, had seven daughters, viz. i.Ehza, 2. PVahces, 
3. JuHa, 4. Mary, 5. Katherine, 6. Lucy, and 7. Emily. 


to Oxford probably with that intention ; and dis- 
covering some such tree near Gloucester Hall, he 
began to repair the building of that community, 
with a design to endow it. But walking afterwards 
by the convent where the Bernardines formerly 
lived, he plainly saw an elm tree with three large 
bodies rising out of the same root ; he forthwith 
purchased the ground, and endowed his college 
there, as it is at this day ; except the additions 
which Archbishop Laud made near the outside of 
the building, in the garden belonging to the Presi- 
dent. The tree is still to be seen. He made this 
discovery about the year 15 57-" 

The numerous tokens of the death of Henry IV. 
of France, who reigned from 1589 until 1610, are 
finely tragical. Mary of Medicis, in her well-known 
dream, saw the brilliant gems of her crown change 
into pearls — the recognized symbols of tears and 
mourning. An owl is said to have hooted 
until sunrise at the window of the chamber to 
which the King and Queen retired at S. Denis on 
the night preceding her coronation. During the 
ceremony, it was observed with dread, that the 
dark portals leading to the royal sepulchre beneath 
the choir, were gaping and expanded. The flame 
of the sacred taper held by Her Majesty was sud- 
denly extinguished, and it is said that her crown 
twice nearly fell to the ground. 

An anecdote, which was current during the 
reign of King Charles I., and has the support both 


of Archbishop Laud and Lord Clarendon, is said 
to have thrown a sad gloom over the spirits of the 
royal friends, already saddened by the fearful pesti- 
lence which inaugurated his reign. At the corona- 
tion it was found that there was not in the whole 
of London, nor indeed in the whole of England, 
sufficient purple velvet with which to make the 
customary royal robes and the corresponding furni- 
ture of the chair of state and throne. What was to 
be done ? Rigid custom, coming down no doubt 
for long generations, possibly from the time of 
S. Edward, required that old traditions should 
be scrupulously observed and carefully followed. 
What was needed could not in all probability be 
had nearer than Genoa. To obtain it would have 
caused a delay of several months : and it was 
agreed that the solemn anointing and coronation 
could not be properly postponed. So it was re- 
solved to robe His Majesty in white velvet, from 
which he was known afterwards as " the White 
King." But this was the colour in which victims 
were arrayed. So many persons maintained that 
the Council which had sanctioned such an inno- 
vation had unwittingly, perhaps, but efficiently 
established an agency of evil ; and many more 
after the King's martyrdom recalled the ominous 

Another Warning, or supposed Warning, of ap- 
proaching evil vouchsafed to the King was equally 
striking and peculiar. It happened a short time 


before the disastrous Battle of Newbury, and is thus 
recorded : — 

The King being at Oxford, went one day to 
see the Public Library, where he was shown 
amongst other books, a Virgil, nobly printed and 
exquisitely bound. The Lord Falkland, to divert 
the King, would have his Majesty make a trial of 
his fortune by the Sortes Virgiliancey which every- 
body knows was not an unusual kind of augury 
some ages past. Whereupon the King opening 
the book, the period which happened to come up 
was part of Dido's imprecation against yEneas, 
which ]\Ir. Dryden translated thus : — 

*' Yet let a race untamed, and haughty foes. 
His peaceful entrance with dire arms oppose ; 
Oppress'd with numbers in th' unequal field, 
His men discouraged and himself expelled, 
Let him for succour sue from place to place. 
Torn from his subjects and his son's embrace ; 
First let him see his friends in battle slain, 
And then untimely fate lament in vain ; 
And when at length the cruel war shall cease. 
On hard conditions may he buy his peace ; 
Nor let him then enjoy supreme command, 
But fall untimely by some hostile hand, 
And lie unburied on the barren sand." 

" /Eneid," Book iv. 88. 

It is said that King Charles seemed concerned 
at this accident, and that Lord Falkland observ- 
ing it, would likewise try his fortune in the same 
manner, hoping he might fall upon some passage 
that could have no relation to his case, and thereby 


divert the King's thoughts from any impression the 
other might have upon him. But the place that 
Falkland stumbled upon was yet more suited to 
his destiny than the other had been to the King's ; 
being the following expressions of Evander upon 
the untimely death of his son Pallas, as they are 
translated" by the same hand : — 

" O Pallas ! thou hast fail'd thy plighted word, 
To fight with caution, not to tempt the sword ; 
I warn'd thee but in vain ; for well I knew 
What perils youthful ardour would pursue, 
That boiling blood would carry thee too far, 
Young as thou wert in dangers — raw in war ! 
O cursed essay in arms — disastrous doom, 
Prelude of bloody fields and fights to come. 

"^neid," Book kI. 230. 

Again, as regards the King's bust, the following 
record was current and commonly discussed : — 

" Vandyke, having painted the King's head, in 
three different attitudes, a profile, a three-quarters, 
and a full face, the picture was sent to Rome for 
Bernini, the celebrated sculptor, to make a bust 
from it. This artist, being exceedingly dilatory 
over his work, and having had complaints made to 
him on the subject, said that there was something 
so unusually sad and melancholy in the royal 
features, that if any stress might be laid on 
physiognomy, he was sure that the person whom 
the picture represented was destined for a violent 
end. When the bust arrived in England, the King 
being anxious to see it, it was taken immediately 
to Chelsea and placed on a table in the garden, 


whither the King, attended by many, went to 
inspect it. While so doing a hawk, with a wounded 
and bleeding partridge in its talons, flew over the 
King's head, and some of the blood fell upon the 
marble neck of the bust, where it remained without 
being wiped off. The omen is said to have been 
marked by many." 

On the day of the King's burial, when the coffin 
was borne to S. George's Chapel, Windsor, by tried 
and trusted subjects and servants, it was carried 
through a severe snow-storm, and the purple pall 
was covered with the whitest snow, thus adding a 
fresh reason for the title by which His Majesty 
had been known. 

There were also some remarkable Warnings in 
the life of the great Archbishop Laud, some of 
which were noted down in his " Diary." For 
example, he was elected Head of S. John's Col- 
lege, Oxford, on the Feast of the Beheading of S. 
John the Baptist ; and of course, when he as Head 
of that college perished by a similar death, this 
more than remarkable coincidence was noticed and 
remembered. Another likewise is certainly curious. 
Not long before his martyrdom, on entering his 
study one day, he is said to have found his own 
portrait, by Vandyke, at full length on the floor, 
the cord which fastened it to the wall having 
snapped. The sight of this warning, as it was 
regarded, is said not only to have deeply impressed 
that great man, whose obvious belief in the Super- 


natural was considerable ; but also to have brought 
back to his memory the fact of a great disaster 
which occurred to one of his barges, on the very- 
day of his translation to the See -of Canterbury, 
which boat sank with his coaches and horses into 
the Thames. 

There was, an Omen attached to the ancient 
Ferrers family, of Chartley Park in Staffordshire. 
The large possessions of this family were forfeited 
by the attainder of Earl Ferrers, after his defeat at 
Burton Bridge, where he led the rebellious barons 
against Henry III. The Chartley estate having 
been settled in dower was alone reserved and 
handed down. In the Park is said to be preserved 
an indigenous Staffordshire cow, small in stature, 
of sand-white colour, with black ears, muzzle, and 
tips at the hoofs. In the year of the Battle of 
Burton Bridge a black calf was born ; the downfall 
of the house of Ferrers happening at the same 
period gave rise to the tradition, which to this day 
is said to be commonly current through observation 
of past events, viz., that the birth of a parti- 
coloured calf from the wild herd in Chartley Park 
is a sure omen of death within the same year to a 
member of Lord Ferrers' family. By a noticeable 
coincidence a calf of this description has been 
born whenever a death has happened of late years 
in this noble family.^ The decease of the late Earl 

' "Staffordshire Chronicle," July, 1835. 


and Countess, of ,his son Lord Tamworth, and of 
his daughter, Mrs. William Jolifife, as well as the 
deaths of the son and heir of the present noble- 
man, and his daughter, Lady Frances Shirley, has 
each been preceded by the birth of an ominous 
calf In the spring of the year 1835 an animal 
perfectly black was calved by one of this weird 
tribe ; and it was soon followed by the death of 
the amiable Countess. 

The Omen connected with the ancient gentle 
family of Oxenham, co. Devon,^ may now be suitably 
referred to. The following, describing it, is copied 
from a rare and ancient pamphlet :- — " In the 
parish called Sale Monachorum, in the county of 

' Lysons in his " Magna Britannia," vol. vi. describing 
the parish of South Tawton, about five miles from Oke- 
hampton, co. Devon, says : — " Oxenham, in this parish, 
gave name to an ancient family who possessed it, at least 
from the time of Henry III. to the death of William Long 
• Oxenham, Esq., in 1814." The mansion, as the Editor 
learns, has long been occupied as a farm-house. It may here 
be added that it is believed that Drake's friend, Captain 
John Oxenham, who lost his life in an engagement with the 
Spaniards in South America (A.D. 1575), was a member of 
this family. Mr. Canon Kingsley, in " Westward-Ho," has 
introduced the omen of a Bird with a white breast in connec- 
tion with this gentleman. 

* " A True relation of an Apparition in the likeness of a Bird 
with a White Breast, that appeared hovering over the death- 
beds of some of the children of Mr. James Oxenham, of 
Sale IMonachorum, Devon, Gent. Confirmed by Sundry 
witnesses. London, printed by I. O. for Richard Clutter- 
buck, and are to be sold at the figure of the Gun in little 



Devon, there lives one James Oxenham, a gentle- 
man of good worth and quality, who had many 
children, one whereof was called John Oxenham, a 
young man in the vigour, beauty, and flower of his 
age, about 22, who was of stature comely and tall, 
being in height of body sixe foote and a half, a 

very proper person This young gentleman 

fell sicke, who being visited by many of the neigh- 
bours during the time of his sickness, departed this 
transitory hfe on the 5th day of September 1635, 
to whom, two days before he yielded up his soul 
to God, there appeared the likeness of a Bird with 
a white breast hovering over him." The pamphlet 
in question states that the White Bird also appeared 
previously to the deaths of Thomasine, Rebecca 
and Thomasine the younger,' facts formally testi- 

Britain, near St. Botolph's church. 1641." British Museum, 
Press-Mark E. 205-9. 

A copy of this pamphlet is also to be found amongst 
Gough's collection in the Bodleian. The British Museum 
copy contains a curious and very effective engraving, repre- 
senting the actual appearance of the Bird to a person dying 
in bed. 

' It is also stated in this pamphlet that the clergyman of 
the parish had been appointed by the bishop of the diocese 
to inquire into the truth of these particulars, and that a 
monument had been put up with his approbation with the 
names of the witnesses of each apparition of the Bird. The 
pamphlet states that those who had been sick and had re- 
covered, never saw the apparition. It further came out in 
the evidence tendered, that the same Bird had appeared to 
Grace, the grandmother of John Oxenham, who died in 1618. 


fied to, on the oaths of divers eyewitnesses before 
the Lord Bishop of Exeter (Dr. Joseph Hall). 

In Howell's " Familiar Letters," a communication 
dated "July 3, 1632," states that the writer saw, at 
a stonecutter's shop in London, a marble monument 
commemorating several examples of this curious 
omen ; and gives the following as the inscriptions : — 

" Here lies John Oxenham, a goodly young man, 
in whose chamber as he was struggling with the 
pangs of death, a Bird with a White Breast was 
seen fluttering about his bed, and so vanished. 

" Here lies also Mary Oxenham, the sister of the 
said John, who died the next day, and the same 
apparition was seen in the room. 

" Here lies hard by, James Oxenham, the son of 
the said John, who dyed a child in his cradle a httle 
after, and such a Bird was seen fluttering about his 
head a little before he expir'd, which vanish'd after- 

At the bottom of the stone there is : — 

" Here lies Elizabeth Oxenham, the mother of 
the said John, who died sixteen years since, when 
such a bird with a white breast was seen about her 
bed before her death." ^ 

Then come the following remarks : — 

' Lysons states that these monumental inscriptions do not 
now exist either in the church or churchyard of Tawton or 
Sale Munachorum. But, considering the shameful destruction 
of monuments in late years by so-called " Church Restorers," 
this is not to be wondered at. 


"To all these there be divers witnesses both 
squires and ladies, whose names are engraven upon 
the stone. This stone is to be sent to a town hard 
by Exeter where this happen'd. Were you here, I 
could raise a choice discours with you hereupon. 
So hoping to see you the next tirm, I rest, etc." 

From an old MS. letter of the eighteenth century, 
written on the fly-leaf of a copy of Howell's book 
already referred to, it seems that the appearance of 
the omen was regarded as a fact at that period. 
The Letter dated " December 29th, 1741," contains 
the following statement : — 

" I have received an answer from the country in 
relation to the strange Bird which appeared to Mr. 
Oxenham just before his death, and the account 
which Dr. Bertie gave to Lord Abingdon of it, is 
certainly true. It first was seen outside the window, 
and soon afterwards by Mrs. Oxenham in the room, 
which she mentioned to Mr. Oxenham, and asked 
him if he knew what bird it was. ' Yes,' says he, 
' it has been on my face and head, and is recorded 
in history as always appearing to our family before 
their deaths ; but I shall cheat the Bird.' Nothing 
more was said aboujt it, nor was the Bird taken 
notice of from that time : but he died soon after- 
wards. However odd this affair may seem, it is 
certainly true ; for the account was given of it by 
Mrs. Oxenham herself: but she never mentions it 
to anyone unless particularly asked about it ; and 
as it was seen by several persons at the same time, 


I cannot attribute it to imagination, but must leave 
it as a phenomenon unaccounted for." 

My friend, the Rev. H. N, Oxenham, of this 
family, writes to me A. D. October, 1874, as follows: 

" The tradition about the White Bird has certainly 
existed for so long a time — I believe for centuries — 
in our family, that I have every reason to believe 
there are well-authenticated accounts of its appear- 
ance before the death of the head of the family ; 
and that certainly a white Bird was seen at the 
window a few days before my late uncle's death 
(who was the head of the family) last Christmas " 
\i.e. in 1873]. 

Here a singular account of the possession of a 
charm, or amulet, and of a Curse connected with it, 
may be fittingly set forth : — 

" The family of Graham of Inchbrachie, county 
Perth, are said to possess a small blue, uncut stone, 
set in an antique ring, of which the following story 
is told. Some two centuries ago, as the Head of the 
Family was passing by a hill near or at Crieff, he 
discovered a large crowd, presided over by one of 

the Campbells of , preparing to execute a 

witch. On approaching the crowd, he found that 
the unhappy victim (who had for some years lived 
in a rocky cave, still known by her name), was none 
other than his old nurse, Katherine Nivens. Charged 
with witchcraft, she had been condemned and was 
about to be executed. Graham, addressing the 
mob, urged them to prevent Campbell from carry- 


ing out his purpose. In acknowledgment of his 
generous help on her behalf, the poor creature threw 
him a small blue stone like a bead, which she had 
kept in her mouth, and desired him to keep it for 
her sake ; adding that as long as it was preserved 
in his family good fortune should ever attend them; 
while to the Campbells of (whom she solemnly- 
cursed), she predicted that there never should be 
born an heir male, and cited him to appear before 
God's judgment-bar, where justice should be done.* 
The strange feature in the story is that (as a corre- 
spondent avers) both promise and predictio7i have 
turned out to be true. The stone is said to be an 
uncut sapphire. Other Scotch families possess 
similar amulets or charms : amongst these the Mac- 
donald-Lockharts of Lee in the county of Lanark. 

The sound of the Beating of a Drum is said to 
betoken death to a noble Scotch family — one which 
has been a staunch, good old loyalist clan for cen- 
turies, and suffered sorely for having been " leal 
and true " to their Royal House and their own con- 
sciences. Some years ago the then head of it was 
paying a visit in England, when, one day, sitting 
outside in the garden with the lady of the house, 

' It has been shrewdly and perhaps not untruly observed, 
that " a genuine and solemn citation may tend to work its 
own fulfilment in certain minds, who, by allowing the thing 
to prey upon their spirits, enfeeble the powers of life, and 
perhaps at the critical date arouse some latent or dormant 
disease into deadly action." 


his lordship exclaimed suddenly, " Listen ! here 
comes a band of music." 

" Music ! " she replied, " oh, impossible." 

" Oh, don't you hear it ? it is coming this way." 

" No, I hear nothing." 

" Listen ! " he retorted ; " don't you hear the 
Drum ? " 

She assured him that there was nothing, that it 
was a fancy, and that no band of music could come 
near enough to the house to be heard, on account 
of the unusual extent of the grounds and park. 

On this the nobleman turned pale, and becoming 
much agitated, remarked that he felt sure it must 
be the sound of the family " Drum," — an omen that 
always preceded death, and feared that something 
had happened to one of his relations. 

The next post brought him the sad and melan- 
choly news of his wife's unlooked-for death, through 
giving birth prematurely to a child. 

The origin of this omen, as far as the Editor can 
discover, appears to be unknown. 

In another family of rank a female figure, dressed 
in brown clothes, appears as a warning of death. 
To the members of an old knightly family in the 
West of England there always comes, before the 
death of its chief, the sound of a heavy carriage 
with many horses driven round the paved court- 
yard of the Elizabethan mansion. 

It is equally notorious that in a certain noble 
English family, the form of a spectral head appears 


as a sign of death to any member of it, and in- 
variably so, when the chief of it dies, — a fact which 
the Editor has been assured of in writing (a.d. 1872) 
from a member of a junior branch of the same. 

To another family, living in the East of England 
(of the rank of gentle people), appears an Omen, 
equally, if not more disagreeable. The appearance 
of a spectral Black Dog is also a portent of death. 
About twenty years ago, A.D. 1853, the then head of 
the family married, and though he himself (by no 
means superstitious) could not reject the tradition 
of the unpleasant omen, having heard so much about 
it on its previous appearance, he said nothing to 
his wife. Some years afterwards, in 1861, their 
eldest child was taken ill. The illness, however, 
(as the physician asserted,) was slight, and not at 
all likely to prove dangerous ; so little, in truth, 
was this anticipated that there were several persons 
staying in the house at the time. Just before din- 
ner was announced one evening, the wife of the 
head of the family asked to be excused for a moment 
or two, while she looked into the night nursery to 
see how the sick child was. She went, but returned 

almost immediately, saying, "Darling ■ is 

fast aleep; but there's a large black dog lying under 
the bed ; go and drive it out" The father, at once 
calling to mind the omen, was sorely terrified. He 
went at once to the sick room. Neither under nor 
near the bed, nor (as was afterwards discovered) on 
the premises, was there, or had there been, any dog, 


but the poor child's sleep was found to be the sleep 
of death. 

To revert to Omens in general. There is a widely- 
spread and singular prejudice, (which with many is 
deeply rooted,) that if thirteen people sit down to 
dinner one of them, at least, shall die within a year.^ 
It seems to have originated from the fact of Judas 
having been the thirteenth at the Paschal Feast, 
when our Lord instituted the Holy Sacrament. 

Again, Friday has from time immemorial been 

' The following is from a MS. note of a member of the 
Editor's family — George Henry Lee, Lord Litchfield, who 
was Chancellor of the University of Oxford in the latter part 
of the last century. Lord Rochester, it should be added, 
was allied to that family through his mother, Anne, Countess 
of Rochester, previously the widow of Sir F. H. Lee : — 

" Lord Rochester told me of an odd presage that one had 
of his approaching death in the Lady Warre his mother-in- 
law's house. The chaplain had dreamt that such a day he 
should die, but being by all the family put out of the belief of 
it, he had almost forgot it till the evening before at supper, 
there being thirteen at table, according to a fond conceit that 
one of these must soon die, one of the young ladies pointed 
to him that he was to die. He, remembering his dream, fell 
into some disorder ; and the Lady Warre reproving him for 
his superstition, he said he was confident he was to die before 
morning ; but he being in perfect health, it was not much 
minded. It was Saturday night, and he was to preach the 
next day. He went to his chamber, sat up late, (as appeared 
by the burning of his candle,) and he had been preparing his 
notes for his sermon, but he was found dead in his bed next 
morning. These things he said made him inclined to believe 
[that] the soul was a substance distinct from matter, and this 
often returned into his thoughts." 


considered an unlucky day ;i because the Crucifixion 
of our Blessed Saviour took place on that day — a 
day of fear and trembling, of darkness and of 
earthquakes — a day of awe, when even some of the 
Pagan oracles were silent, and indications of the 
decay and weakening of their powers were by their 
impotence made manifest. Plutarch in his book 
on the " Cessation of Oracles," makes mention of 
the voice which, near Paxos, the pilot of a vessel 
heard in the spring of the nineteenth year of the 
Emperor Tiberius, crying out, " Great Pan is dead." 
Now we know that in the spring of that year, and 
possibly on the afternoon of that very day, our 
Divine Lord overcame death by dying, conquered 
Satan, and opened the gates of everlasting life to 
mankind. Can we be surprised that after that 
victory on the first Good Friday, the power of the 
Evil One was largely and surely curbed .-• 

Second Sight, indications of the existence of which 
have already been given, appears to be a power or 
property of seeing beforehand events which are still in 
the future, and such sight claimed by several* is said 

' The Registrar-General in his last Report writes thus : — 
" Seamen will not sail, women will not wed on a Friday so 
willingly as on other days of the week. It has been ascer- 
tained that out of 4,057 marriages which took place during a 
certain period in the midland district of England, not two 
per cent, were celebrated on a Friday, while thirty-two per 
cent, were entered as having taken place on a Sunday." 

"^ Jerome Cardan, the strange sixteenth-century physician, 
who dealt so extensively in horoscopes, and is said to have 


to belong to many persons in Scotland. In a " De- 
scription of the Western Isles," a popular writer of 
the last century somewhat amplified the definition. 
He maintained as follows : " The Second Sight is a 
singular faculty of seeing an otherwise invisible 
object, without any previous means used by the 
person that sees it for that end ; the vision makes 
such a lively impression upon the seers, that they 
neither see nor think of anything else, except the 
vision, as long as it continues ; and then they 
appear pensive or jovial, according to the object 
which was represented to them." He further points 
out generally that when persons gifted with Second 
Sight " actually behold something unusual, the eye- 
lids of the person are erected, and the eyes continue 
staring until the object vanish," In the case of a 
certain person in the Island of Skye, "when he 
sees a vision, the inner part of his eyelids turns so 
far upwards, that after the object disappears, he 
must draw them down again with his fingers." The 
same writer maintains that the property of Second 
Sight does not necessarily descend in a family, as 

sought the assistance of spirits, professed to own and exercise 
some specific and supernatural gifts : — i. The power of 
throwing his spirit out of his body, by which he could see 
things at a distance. 2. His faculty of Second Sight, or of 
seeing whatever he pleased with his eyes, " Oculis, non vi 
mejitis." 3. His dreams, which, as he maintained, uniformly 
foretold to him what was about to occur, and by which he 
truly predicted the day of his own death, and 4. his " unerring 
astrological knowledge." 


some persons hold and assert. " I know several 
parents," he writes, "who are endowed with it, but 
their children not, and vice versa;, neither is it 
acquired by any previous compact. And, after a 
strict inquiry, I could never learn from any among 
them that this faculty was communicable any way 

Several volumes have been written on the sub- 
ject, and examples almost without number pro- 

In John Aubrey's " Miscellanies " ^ is recorded a 
remarkable escape from death of Dr. William 
Harvey, the celebrated discoverer of the circulation 
of the blood through Second Sight : — " When Dr. 
Harvey, one of the Physicians' College in London, 
being a young man (in 1695), went to travel towards 
Padua, he went to Dover with several others, 
and showed his pass as the rest to the Governor 
there. The Governor told him that he must not 
go, but he must keep him prisoner. The Doctor 
desired to know 'for what reason .-* how he had 
transgressed ? ' * Well, it was his will to have it so.' 
The pacquet boat hoisted sail in the evening, which 
was very clear, and the doctor's companions in it. 
There ensued a terrible storm, and the pacquet 
boat and all the passengers were drowned. The 
next day the sad news was brought to Dover. 
The Doctor was unknown to the Governor both by 

' " Miscellanies, collected by J. Aubrey, Esq." London 
printed for Edward Castle, 1696. 


name and face ; but the night before the Governor 
had a perfect vision of Dr. Harvey in a dream, who 
came to pass over to Calais, and that he had a 
warning to stop him. This the Governor told the 
Doctor the next day. The Doctor was a pious, 
good man, and has several times directed this story 
to some of my acquaintance." 

The following, from a rare and curious volume of 
the last century,^ containing nearly two hundred 
cases, authenticated mainly by ministers of the 
Scotch Establishment, is a good example : — 

" Alexander Macdonald, of Kingsborough (when 
living in the possession of Aird, in the remote end 
of Trotternish), dreamed that he saw a reverend 
old man come to him, desiring him to get out of 
bed, and get his servants together, and make haste 
to save his fields of corn, as his whole cattle, and 
his tenants' cattle also, had got out of the fold, and 
were in the middle of a large field behind the 
house. He awaked and told his wife, with whom 
he consulted whether he would rise or not ; and 
she telling him it was but a dream, and not worth 
noticing, advised him to lie still, which he obeyed ; 
but no sooner fell asleep, than the former old man 
appeared to him, and seemed angry, by telling Mr. 
Macdonald (then of Aird), he the old man was 
very idle, in acquainting him of the loss he would 

' "A Treatise on the Second Sight, Dreams, and Appari- 
tions," by Theophilus Insulanus. Dedicated " To the 
Honourable Sir Harry Monro, of FouUs, Baronet." Pp. 107- 
loS. Edinburgh : 1763. 


or had by this time sustained by his cattle, and 
seemed not to heed what he said, and so went off. 
Mr. Macdonald awaking the second time, told 
his wife, but she would not allow him, and ridiculed 
him for noticing the folly of a confused dream ; so 
that, after attempting to get up, he was, at his 
wife's persuasion, prevailed upon to lie down again ; 
and falling asleep, it being now near break of day, 
the old gentleman appeared to him a third time, 
with a frowning countenance, and told him he 
might now lie still, for that the cattle were now 
surfeited of his corn, and were lying in it ; and that 
it was for his welfare that he came to acquaint him 
so often, as he was his grand-uncle by his father ; 
and so went off. He awaking in about an hour 
thereafter, arose and went out, and actually found 
his own and his tenants' cattle lying in his corn, 
after being tired of eating thereof; which corn, 
when comprised, the loss amounted to eight bolls 
of meal." 

Two quite recent cases of Second Sight are here 
given, and are each somewhat remarkable. Both 
have been furnished to the Editor by those who 
knew the cases, and the accuracy of each has been 
vouched for by trusty and courteous correspondents. 

The first has reference to the murder of a police- 
man at Cardiff: — "An inquest was formally opened 
on the body of William Perry, a constable of the 
Cardiff police force, who was fatally stabbed on 
Tuesday by a butcher, named Jones. The medical 


evidence went to show that the murderer was in a 
very excited state at the time, but was neither 
insane nor suffering from delirium tremens. The 
further hearing was adjourned. The ' Western 
Mail ' says : — The deceased man Perry was a well- 
known and very efficient officer. He joined the 
borough police force on the 5th of July, 1865, and 
from that time had always conducted himself in a 
praiseworthy manner, having attained to the position 
of a first-class constable some time ago. Previous 
to 1865 he was employed in the IMerthyr division 
of the county police. He was 36 years of age. 
The superstitious will probably feel interested in the 
following story, which our reporter heard last night 
from the lips of the widow herself Strange as it 
may seem, it is no less strange than true ; and 
mournful as the circumstance is in itself, those who 
believe in the efficacy of dreams as prognosticators 
of future events, will perhaps derive some gratifi- 
cation from it. On Sunday night Mrs. Perry (who 
resides at Melrose-cottage, Heath-street, Canton), 
had a dream, which but too faithfully predicted the 
sad tragedy of yesterday. In the midst of her 
sleep she saw, to use her own words, a large crowd 
following her husband down the Cowbridge-road, 
in the direction of the Westgate hotel, where the 
murder was committed. She saw, in the horror of 
her dream, a knife plunged into the breast of 
her husband, and drawn out again, blood-stained 
and grimy, by some cruel but unknown hand. She 


saw, too, the murdered form of her husband borne 
away^ and httle thought, when brooding over her 
awful dream, that it was a ' dark presage,' and the 
precursor of what was soon to be a terrible reality. 
The dream occasioned her great uneasiness, but 
she mentioned it to no one until the dreadful tidings 
of her husband's death reached her yesterday 
morning, when the circumstance forced itself vividly 
upon her recollection." (a.d. 1873.) 

The second example is equally remarkable : — "A 
singular case of Second Sight is reported from the 
neighbourhood of Marlborough. A labourer named 
Duck, employed by Mr. Dixon, of Mildenhall 
Warren Farm, was in charge of a horse and water- 
cart on the farm, when the animal took fright and 
knocked him down. The wheel went over his 
chest, and the injuries he received were such that 
his death occurred shortly afterwards. However, 
the singular part of the story remains to be told. 
Duck resided at Ramsbury, and immediately after 
the accident Mr. Dixon despatched a woman to 
acquaint his wife of the fact. On arriving at her 
home the messenger found her out gathering wood ; 
but shortly afterwards a girl who was her com- 
panion arrived, and, without being told of what had 
occurred, volunteered the statement that 'Ria (Mrs. 
Duck) was unable to do much that morning, that 
she had been very much frightened, having seen her 
husband in the wood. Shortly afterwards Mrs. 
Duck returned, without any wood, and, being in- 


formed by a neighbour that a woman from Milden- 
hall Woodlands wished to see her, ejaculated im- 
mediately, ' My David's dead, then.' Inquiry has 
since been made by Mr. Dixon of the woman, and 
she positively asserts that she saw her husband in 
the wood, and said, 'Holloa, David, what wind blows 
you here, then } ' and that he made no reply. Mr. 
Dixon inquired what time this occurred, and she 
replied about 10 o'clock, the hour at which the fatal 
accident took place." (A.D. 1874.) 

Before this chapter is closed, the following ac- 
count, which created the deepest impression in the 
town and neighbourhood of Devizes, is embodied 
in terms which plainly enough set forth its point 
and purpose. It is an awful example of God's 
summary judgment, recorded by the local authori- 
ties both as a memorial of the Supernatural and 
as a warning to all : — 

"The Mayor and Corporation of Devizes avail 
themselves of the stability of this building [the 
Market Cross,] to transmit to future times the 
record of an awful event which occurred in the 
Market Place in the year 1753, hoping that such 
record may serve as a salutary warning against the 
danger of impiously invoking Divine vengeance, or 
of calling on the Holy Name of God to conceal the 
devices of falsehood and fraud : 

"On Thursday, the 25th of January, 1753, Ruth 
Pierce, of Potterne in this county, agreed with three 
other women to buy a sack of wheat in the market, 


each paying her due proportion towards the same. 
One of these women, in collecting the several quotas 
of money, discovered a deficiency, and demanded 
of Ruth Pierce the sum which was wanting to make 
good the amount. Ruth Pierce protested that she 
had paid her share, and said : She wished she migJit 
drop down dead if she had not. She rashly repeated 
the awful wish ; when, to the consternation and 
terror of the surrounding multitude, she instantly 
fell down and expired, having the money concealed 
in her hand." 

The narrative of this solemn event was by order 
of the authorities recorded on a tablet and hung up 
in the Market house (a row of sheds near the Cross). 
When the building was taken down, Mr. Halcombe, 
who kept the Bear Inn, in order that the remem- 
brance might not be lost, caused it to be inscribed 
on the pediment of a couple of pillars which stood 
opposite his inn, supporting the sign of the Bear. 

The sign was removed in 1801, and a few years 
after Lord Sidmouth having presented to the town 
the New Cross, which forms the central ornament 
of the Market Place, the Mayor and Corporation 
" availed themselves," to use their own language, "of 
the stability of the new structure to transmit to 
future time a record of the awful death of Ruth 
Pierce in hope that it might serve as a salutary 
warning against the practice of invoking the Sacred 
Name to conceal the devices of falsehood and 

'^i*': ', 


. And now to conclude this portion of the subject. 
Each example already recorded has, no doubt, told 
its own story sufficiently well. Some cases may 
appear to certain minds to be as trivial as they 
certainly are, to others, marvellous and inexplic- 
able ; other examples, again, cannot fail to leave a 
deep impression on the reader, as well from the 
remarkable character of the presentiments and 
W'*^ dreams themselves, as from the reasonable testi- 
^)v ;/ -mony by which their truth is supported by persons 
^\* . of repute and credibility. The Editor has inten- 
tionally avoided the making of comments, either 
prolix or the reverse, preferring to present to the 
'\- ': .■ reader each recorded narrative, as received or ob- 
tained by himself, without dissertations, theories, 
:V' / or explanations. 

'v ,. ,~ 

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JT' ;■--■'-• END OF VOL. I. 

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